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Infants 6-months and older to get vaccines; younger babies have natural protection – DOH

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By Analou De Vera

Amid the measles outbreak, the Department of Health (DOH) said that infants below six-months old do not need to be given measles vaccine.

 

Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III gestures during the press conference at the DOH office in Manila, February 7, 2019. Secretary Duque announced the measles out breaks in CALABARZON, NCR, Region 3, Region 6 and Region 7. (CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN)

Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III gestures during the press conference at the DOH office in Manila, February 7, 2019. Secretary Duque announced the measles out breaks in CALABARZON, NCR, Region 3, Region 6 and Region 7. (CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN)

“They still have an underdeveloped immune system, and they still have that natural protection coming from the maternal circulation,” explained Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

Duque said that parents should still bring them to healthcare facilities to assess the infant’s condition and for prompt treatment.

“In hospitals, there is triaging, where infants are assessed by pediatricians to determine if they suffer from measles complications and need to be confined,” said the health chief.

“But if not, they only require isolation and let the body take care of its own. The body, in all likelihood, will also get over the disease,” he added.

To note, infants aged six-months-old and above are now being included among those that need to be immunized. Prior to the outbreak, the measles vaccines are given to children aged nine-months to 59 months.

Last week, the health department declared measles outbreak in five regions in the country; the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, and Central Visayas.

On Monday, Duque said that 4,302 confirmed measles cases, with 70 deaths have been recorded nationwide since January 1 to February 9

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