Parents urged to have kids vaccinated amidst pertusis outbreak

House of Representatives Deputy Majority Leader Janette Garin has urged parents to have their children properly vaccinated as cases of pertussis in the country continue to increase.

Garin, a former Health Secretary, made the call after the Department of Health logged 1,477 cases of pertussis with 63 deaths nationwide from January 1 to April 6 this year. She said “vaccine hesitancy” was the root cause of the rising number of cases of pertussis and measles due to the vaccine scare.

“Why is it that only the Philippines has the pertussis outbreak? And why is polio back again? Why is it that in the past years many died from measles? This is all because of vaccine hesitancy,” Garin pointed out.

The former Health Secretary also noted measles outbreaks in some areas of the country that killed a good number of people. She said the DOH leadership in the past administration failed to effectively address the vaccine hesitancy.

The government expects 3 million pentavalent or 5-in-1 vaccine doses by June, and is now securing diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (DPT) doses. (With PNA)