Bong Go urges parents to support vax drive amid pertussis outbreak

April 16, 2024 People's Journal 125 views

SENTOR Christopher “Bong” Go has strongly advocated for parents to be informed and support government efforts in vaccinating their children against pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, as well as other diseases.

During an ambush interview on Monday, after attending the Malasakit sa Kooperatiba event in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, Go highlighted the critical nature of timely immunization facilitated by the government especially for children.

“Mayroon pong vaccination drive ang ating gobyerno. Hinihikayat ko po ang mga parents na magpabakuna. Libre naman po ito mula sa DOH (Department of Health), para mas protektado po ang ating mga anak,” he urged.

The senator also advocated for long-term strategies to enhance the country’s preparedness and response to infectious diseases. This includes improving healthcare infrastructure, increasing public awareness campaigns on vaccination, and strengthening collaboration between government agencies, healthcare providers, and communities.

Go has particularly made a pointed appeal for the government to ramp up its vaccination efforts, noting that pertussis is included in the mandatory vaccination program.

“Napakahalaga na maunawaan natin na ang pertussis ay isang sakit na maaaring maiwasan sa pamamagitan ng bakuna… Kasama naman ito sa mandatory vaccination program ng gobyerno na dapat maimplementa nang maayos ng mga ahensya para siguruhin na ang bawat isa, lalo na ang mga bata, ay protektado laban sa sakit,” Go cited earlier.

Go also took the opportunity to reiterate the importance of pursuing domestic capability for vaccine production through the proposed Virology Science and Technology Institute. He emphasized the significance of aiming for long term solutions such as self-sufficiency in vaccine production, especially in times of global supply constraints.

“Ngayon, moving forward, nag-file din po ako ng Senate Bill No. 196. Ito pong Virology Science and Technology Institute na sana po pagdating ng panahon, may kakayahan naman tayong mag-produce ng ating sariling bakuna. Napakaimportante po n’on,” he explained.

SBN 196, if enacted, will establish the Virology Science and Technology Institute that will study and investigate viral diseases in the country. Included in the overall goal of the measure is to help capacitate the country in developing vaccines against highly pathogenic emerging viruses.

Meanwhile, Go also filed SBN 195, seeking to establish the country’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Both are designed to strengthen further the public healthcare sector of the country after the lessons learned from the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The recent spike in pertussis cases has alarmed health officials. From January to March 2024, 1,112 pertussis cases were reported, with a concerning 54 fatalities, predominantly among children under five.