Monday, January 23, 2012

PH First To Vaccinate Newborns Against Rota Virus in Asia

The Department of Health will start the campaigns against rota virus by vaccinating infants from National Household Targeting System (NHTS) families who will be born from April 2012 to April 2013, said DOH  Secretary Enrique Ona in the recent 13th Asian Conference on Diarrheal Disease and Nutrition here.

Picture: healingourchildren(dot)org
Some 700,000 newborns from the 5.2 million families identified as "poorest of the poor" by the Department of Social Welfare and Development under its NHTS will be initially benefited of rota virus vaccination.

P600 million has been allotted for the procurement of the vaccines, said Ona.

Rota virus is the virus that causes severe diarrhea and vomitting among children below five years old. It is the second leading leader under-five Filipino children, accounting for 3,500 deaths annually.

Dr. Tony Nelson, a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a member of Asian Rotavirus Surveillance Network lamented that the Philippines has the best data available in Asia but the rota virus vaccines were introduced in Latin America five years ago.

Since this will be launched in April 2012, the PHillipines will be the first country to use these data and this a great day for the Phillipines and for Asia because many countries will follow through, Nelson further said.

The DOH will call for a bidding among vaccines manufacturers. As of this writing, only pharmaceutical companies like Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) and GlaxoSmithhKline (GSK) are producing the vaccines.

The MSD vaccine  is comprise of three doses while the GSK's is two doses, but it will cost the DOH some P900 per child for any of the two brands. The vaccines must be initially administered among newborns six to 12 weeks after birth while the succeeding dose is given after four weeks.

The government is hopeful that if the rota virus cases will be reduced, if not eradicated, this will contribute to the "reduction of under-five mortality" as targeted under the millennium Development Goals.

Dr. John Wecker, director for Vaccine Access and Delivery of the Washington based Path, hailed PH government for a "good decision for the children of the Philippines" in the inclusion of rota virus vaccination in DOH's Expanded Program on Immunization (IPE).

Source: Science & Technology, The Philippine STAR, January 12, 2012


  1. As a mom, I applaud this move. I'm very obedient to my pedia, and I take the initiative to updates my son's immunization book. :)
    Best Regards!

  2. This is goods new. It's good that the government is putting efforts regarding the health of our poor fellowmen and it's great that we are first in to apply vaccination. Rota Virus is a serious health risk and when not addressed properly can be fatal. This move by the government should help diminish death among children.

  3. Great news for the Philippines indeed us having the best data and being the pioneer for this vaccine in Asia. I'm happy that the DOH is introducing this to our kids. Just last December, my little cousin (about 1yr old) had diarrhea. After I read about this virus in another blog and now in yours, I'm convinced that this must be the cause of his diarrhea. PHP900 per child is a bit expensive but if as you say the government is willing to pay for it then that's even more good news! It will really help a lot kids. :)

  4. I love this idea and I love how DOH leader how he is doing the job,

  5. Kudos to DOH for this milestone. I hope they'll come up with more projects especially for the poor.

  6. This is a good project from DOH.ROTA vaccine is so expensive and the poor cannot afford to pay for a private clinic.DOH did a great job.

  7. this is great project of DOH... i hope every child can have a ROTA Vaccine for free..

  8. rota vaccine is really expensive, i spent P6k+ (two shots) for my son's vaccine. this is a great help for those who can't afford it.

  9. this is a good project by the DOH. I just hope that the information dissemination is good specially to those living in rural areas. They need this very badly. And hopefully DOH has enough budget so a lot will benefit from it.

  10. Recently, I've heard more about this Philippine First Rota Vaccine. Newborn babies really need this vaccine as far as I know. I am hoping that the government will continue to fund this project to help our fellowmen.

  11. This is a very beneficial project. I understand how the government aim to reach out, help and protect the children. I just hope they will make sure every household will be properly informed too and no child will be left behind.

    Good luck to this project!


  12. Good thing DoH is alloting its money for and the some of the mus be given to it constituents

  13. This should remain free for all newborns. To charge a vaccine that much when its for the new generation is not good. This is a good project. I hope they will have more.

  14. kailangan ng next generation natin ng mga bakuna. mother earth is getting more and more polluted

  15. i hope the kids from the poorest areas will really be vaccinated with it. rota vaccine is quite expensive, but very helpful for kids health

  16. I'll be telling my friends about this in case they don't have an idea yet especially those who are about to give birth. This is a very helpful post.
    - sionee

  17. Great News! I love to hear more of these types of news rather than the opposite! Time to give what is best for our countrymen! Kudos DOH!

  18. I remember my mother telling me when she was alive that, as a child, I never had the opportunity to take the usual vaccines that kids normally take simply because she couldn't afford it. We were very poor, at the time. It is good to know that something as expensive as the rota vaccine will be made available to those who normally wouldn't bother with it simply because of its price.

  19. this is a good project by DOH because if its not free I don't think mom of a common family will have a money for its cost

  20. good job DOH, this is a good way of helping families who doesn't have the means to pay for immunization


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