ANGELES CITY -- As part of the Grandparents Day celebration, the local government here and the Department of Health Region III (DOH-3), administered a pneumococcal disease immunization program to over 250 senior citizens here on September 26 at the City Hall.

The said program aims to prevent Pneumonia among the elderly by intensifying DOH's nationwide efforts in implementing the Expanded Immunization Program for Senior Citizens. This is in cooperation with a US-based pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD).

The program encourages senior citizens, aged 60 and 65 years old to avail of free pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination which will be administered in their community health centers.

"Vaccines have long been available in the Philippines, specifically in the private sector. DOH is ensuring that there are enough resources and access to life-saving medicines and services, particularly to the Filipinos who need them most," said Dr. Leonita Gorgolon, DOH cluster head for Central Luzon and Visayas.

The vaccination consists of two doses: senior citizens aged 60 years old will be given the first dose and will receive the second dose after a 5-year interval. On the other hand, senior citizens aged 65 years old will receive one dose.

Pneumococcal disease is a leading cause of serious illness throughout the world. It is caused by a common type of bacteria, the Streptococcus Pneumonia, which can attack different parts of the body. Illnesses caused by pneumococcus include pneumonia, meningitis, middle ear and sinus infections and a condition called sepsis or infection of the bloodstream.

DOH urges senior citizens to avail of free Anti-Pneumonia vaccination in designated health centers in the city. (AC-CIO)