VACCINATION. A health worker from Ilocos Norte provides oral polio vaccine to an infant in this undated photo. The Provincial Health Office is calling on expectant mothers and children to get vaccinated against pertussis.
VACCINATION. A health worker from Ilocos Norte provides oral polio vaccine to an infant in this undated photo. The Provincial Health Office is calling on expectant mothers and children to get vaccinated against pertussis. (Photo courtesy of DOH-Ilocos Center for Health Development)

Ilocos Norte health chief: Avail of free vax vs pertussis

EXPECTANT mothers and children can get vaccinated for free against pertussis at the Provincial Health Office (PHO) in Ilocos Norte and at municipal health offices.

A six-week old is already eligible for the pentavalent vaccine while those aged 1 to 6 years may get booster doses.

The vaccine protects against diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, hib (influenza B) and hepatitis B.

“We are doing our best to prevent the entry of this disease to our province and the best way to prevent it is to get vaccinanted,” PHO officer-in-charge Dr. Rickson Balalio said in an interview Tuesday.

Balalio explained that pertussis, or whooping cough, causes clean, squeezed breathing after coughing.

Affected children may experience apnea or shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, and vomiting.

"Pertussis disease is a respiratory infection caused by a bacteria, Bordetella pertussis. It is highly contagious and the symptoms can be felt in seven to 10 days,” he added.

Latest Department of Health (DOH) data showed 1,112 recorded cases from Jan. 1 to March 30, with 54 deaths.

There were only 32 cases during the same period last year.

Of the total cases, 77 percent were children not older than 5 years.

The DOH said it has enough vaccine supply until May while new deliveries are expected in June. (PNA)

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