In a recent online talk show, the Department of Health (DOH), with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Breakthrough ACTION project, brought moms and medical experts together to discuss the importance of COVID-19 vaccines for families, especially for young children.
“Batang Bakunado, Todong Protektado”, hosted by television personality and vaccine advocate Pauleen Luna Sotto, addressed common questions and concerns from parents on the safety and benefits of vaccines. Representatives from parent groups, Moms Support Moms PH, Usapang Nanay PH, and Best Nanay joined the show to share their personal experiences and concerns of fellow moms over the vaccines.
Are the vaccines still necessary?
“When my daughter turned five, I immediately had her vaccinated because she goes to school everyday. For parents, getting their children vaccinated brings a sense of relief. We can’t keep our children inside the house forever,” shared Ms. Luna-Sotto. Pediatric expert Dr. Anna Ong-Lim echoed this, stressing that vaccine coverage for children 5-11 years old continues to lag with only 51.63% of the target population fully vaccinated.
What can we do about vaccine side-effects?
Dr. Maricar Santos from the DOH shared that more than five million Filipino children have already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Dr. Ong-Lim shared that if side effects are observed, these are common, usually mild, and easily manageable at home with fever medications or a simple cold compress for swelling on the arm. Many local government units will even provide paracetamol after vaccination. “We have all of these safeguards – observation post-vaccination, providing contact numbers, and medications, all to make sure okay ang bata pag uwi,” said Dr. Ong-Lim.
What can parents do to keep the world a safe place for their kids?
The moms present shared that the vaccination process was quick and easy for them. With the guidance of their parents, the children themselves understood the benefits of being able to go back to school and play with their friends and families while staying protected.
At the end of the show, moms and medical experts invited fellow parents to stay updated with the best and correct health information through the DOH platforms, so that we all understand why the COVID-19 vaccines are still important for our whole family.