One of the most pressing issues that the Philippines has faced recently was the measles outbreak. This viral disease is completely preventable, or at least its effects radically decreased, if only children were vaccinated against measles. But many families opted not to because of the dengue vaccine scare. They completely missed the importance of vaccines.
Awareness Campaigns and the Government
There is a need to educate people about the benefits of vaccines. They should be informed that their choices have consequences, not only to their families but to other people as well.
For a country that still believes in faith healers, hilot, superstitions, and the like, it will take a lot of effort and guts to change the mindset and common beliefs. But we need vaccines, if not for us, but for the good of the rest of the people.
We also need strong government officials who think scientifically and who also have empathy to other people. One such incumbent official that I know of is Senator Grace Poe.
She is up for re-election and I do hope she makes it so that she can support more healthcare programs for our country.
Why Were Vaccines Made
Vaccines, or the theory thereof, were used by the monks centuries before in order to make them invulnerable to snake venom and cowpox, but more formal forms of vaccine didn’t come until the 17th century.
These healthcare strategies were developed in order to prevent the widespread outbreak of certain diseases caused by viruses. These diseases, like measles, can cause death while others, like polio, can have crippling results.
To protect humankind, vaccines were developed so that we have better immunity against these ailments.
Why We Had Our Kids Vaccinated
Being a mom, I know the importance of keeping our children healthy. I am not a doctor but I know a fair measure of how good health is imperative for the children’s growth and safety. It also keeps the family budget intact and gives me worry-free and stress-free time. Who needs the additional stress because of sickness in the family?
Of course, kids can get sick for a variety of reasons while growing up. I don’t mind common illnesses like colds and cough or the occasional fever. They are easily treatable and even a lot of times, even preventable, especially with supplements like Vitamin C.
But we had the kids receive vaccination for the major diseases. Our eldest Shawna had her immunization done by a privately practicing Bacolod pediatrician.
Meanwhile, Shane had hers at our local barangay health center. We had the most pleasant experiences in both. The only difference is that, mmunization at the barangay health center is free while it costs thousands of pesos with the paediatrician.
Vaccines vs. Keeping Kids Healthy
Many camps are against vaccines because of their side effects. The concern is in introducing strains of the virus into the body for it to develop antibodies. Many are not comfortable with that.
Plus, they have problems with the carrier chemical as well as the way these are administered. They would rather just keep their kids healthy with a good diet and food supplements.
I am for keeping kids healthy because I am a proponent of prevention rather than cure. But like what I said in the previous post, not everybody can afford super foods and good nutrition. The masses who can barely afford three meals a day could not possibly spare budget for special supplementation. They couldn’t possibly afford probiotics or essential oils.
But they can get free vaccines from health centers.
With that, I believe in the wisdom of administering vaccines for major ailments.
For the General Public
At the same time, even if we can keep our kids at tip top shape all the time and they can withstand these infections, what about the others?
The stronger person can become a carrier and not get sick, but may infect others who are not vaccinated against measles and other diseases. And if the virus caught them at a weak time, the results can be fatal. Since we are talking about a virus, the multiplier effect in the whole community will cause an epidemic.
So immunization is not just keeping my kids safe. It’s also benefitting the general public. After all, we are a society of intertwined lives.
Vaccines for Major and Minor Diseases
However, and there’s a big HOWEVER, in our kids’ health plan. Our kids are vaccinated against measles and other major diseases.
But my husband and I have decided to forego the rest of the vaccines that are normally recommended. Some of these are for flu and pneumonia. That is because all the strains causing these ailments cannot be covered in one vaccine. The fact that they mutate so fast, I don’t think there will ever be a vaccine that could ever be enough.
And since these diseases are not life-threatening as long as there is proper medical care, rest, and nutrition, we have decided to forego them. Saves us money, too, as well as the stress of getting an appointment at the pedia clinic.
The Importance of Vaccines
So why do we need vaccines for our kids? What is the importance of vaccines? Here are some of the reasons:
- Vaccines protect children from serious and preventable diseases that can include the amputation of limbs, paralysis, hearing loss, brain damage, and even death.
- Measles, mumps, and whooping cough still continue to put children in hospitals and cause deaths. I don’t have the stats, but the Philippines has seen several deaths due to measles.
- Outbreaks of these diseases occur when many parents decide not to have their children immunized.
- Vaccination is safe as well as effective. These undergo long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and the federal government before they are released to the public. Both are kids have been vaccinated and well.
- Protection from vaccines is not just for the child who was immunized but everyone surrounding that child. It includes everyone you care about. If some children in a class are not vaccinated, they can spread disease to other children. And this is bad if they pass the virus to those who are too young to be vaccinated or to people with weakened immune systems. Vulnerable people are those who are transplant recipients and cancer patients. If they get infected, they can face long-term complications and even death.
Get Kids Vaccinated Against Measles and Major Diseases
It is a commitment to protect ourselves and other people when we have our children vaccinated.
Other Health Campaigns by Sen. Poe
Sen. Grace Poe has lobbied for cheaper medicines and campaigns for better healthcare programs, especially for the masses. She has worked to improve the facilities in barangay health centers because in many cases, the big city hospitals are too far for those who live in remote areas.
Throughout her years in public service, healthcare has been one of the most important areas that Sen. Poe cares about. It also includes giving more benefits and higher pay to government health workers so they will be encouraged to stay in their jobs. She would also like to see many more with medical degrees to join the ranks and help fellow Filipinos.