THE Department of Health has allotted one million doses of the new Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) for the 333,000 infants aged between six weeks to 11 months in the next two years.
Health Assistant Secretary Enrique Tayag announced this during a press forum in Butuan City Wednesday afternoon right after the launching of the new vaccine to expanded program on immunization (EPI) here in the city.
During the launch, Tayag also announced that the DOH immunization program will now include free immunization against pneumonia in children in health centers nationwide.
He said the Philippines, in two successive years, led the South East Asian countries in the introduction of two new important vaccines in the world, the Rotavirus in 2010 and the most recent, the PCV.
Caraga was chosen among the pilot regions, particularly Butuan City for both launching.
The Caraga region and ARMM ranked No. 13 among the regions in the country with high number of pneumonia cases and it ranked as the No. 2 leading cause of infant mortality in 2010, which accounts for 2,628 deaths according to Philippine Health Statistics.
Caraga was chosen for initial PCV implementation to compliment the Rotavirus vaccination that started in July 2012.
The region was also selected as the site for impact study on rotavirus vaccination, which will end in 2014. The vaccines will cost P2, 050.00 per full vaccination (3 doses of the PCV) per child.
Tayag also said that the integration of the PCV will be divided in phases. PNA