Pia: ‘Let’s help end the vaccine scare’

Amid the measles outbreak, Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano appeals to barangay leaders, health workers and mothers in Cabanatuan City to help end the vaccine scare

CABANATUAN CITY – Echoing the recent call of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, House Deputy Speaker Pia S. Cayetano is encouraging Filipino families and communities to work together for the proper immunization of infants and children, with the goal of protecting them from vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles. 

The congresswoman made the appeal on Thursday to different women’s groups and barangay officials in Cabanatuan City, where she also advocated for reform measures that would improve social services for every member of the family.

“Kailangan ko ang suporta ninyo sa issue na ito… It is our duty to convince the mothers, [para] mapanatag ang kanilang kalooban that these vaccinations are safe… Huwag nating pabayaan na matakot ang mga nanay dahil ‘pag tayo nagka-outbreak, sariling anak natin ay maaapektuhan,” Cayetano said. 

Her message came a day after President Duterte issued an order to the Department of Health (DOH) to intensify the campaign for the complete immunization of Filipino children. 

The principal author and sponsor of the Mandatory Infants and Children Immunization Act (RA 10152), Cayetano reiterated her strong support for the government’s “sustainable and mandatory” vaccination program, which took a hit following the Dengvaxia controversy. 

The Taguig representative said she hopes to allay the public’s fear of vaccinations, stressing that there is a greater danger when parents opt to forego immunization for their children. 

The DOH had already declared an outbreak of measles in the National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon, and Central and Eastern Visayas. In NCR, cases rose by 550 percent from January 1 to February 6 this year compared to the same period last year. At least 55 deaths were recorded at the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, most of them children aged 3 months to 4 years old.

“Huwag silang matakot dahil itong vaccination na pang-newborn hanggang one year old, tried and tested na po ‘yan. Dekada na hong ibibigay ‘yun… Hindi ‘yan para sa akin… para ‘yan sa buhay ng mga bata,” Cayetano stressed. #

Photo: Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano, principal author of the Mandatory Infants and Children Immunization Act (RA 10152), speaks to barangay health workers, women’s groups and mothers about the measles outbreak and the importance of vaccination at the Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU) gymnasium in Cabanatuan City.  

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