Calling the shots for your baby’s health

    Dr. Maria Margarita M. Lota

    Advancements in science and technology brought us one of the most important human discoveries of all time – vaccines. Getting vaccinated boosts a person’s immunity to protect them from getting sick. A key component to have a stronger immune system is to get on-time immunization.

    “Immunizing your child is one of the most important things a parent can do for their children,” said Dr. Maria Margarita M. Lota, pediatrician and faculty at University of the Philippines – College of Health in her recent webinar on Call The Shots PH Facebook page.

    Dr. Lota recommends having children vaccinated as early as 6 weeks old and to keep a record of each vaccination. Early vaccination on babies is essential because infants are at high risk of catching diseases, including infectious ones, due to their weak immune system.

    It is important to know the schedule of vaccination to keep them fully protected and safe as they grow older. In this way, on-time vaccinations can help parents save time, money, and even anxiety and worry.

    “We have to understand that vaccination is a type of immunization. Immunization is the process of inducing our immunity which can be done either naturally when mothers give antibodies to their baby or artificially through vaccination. Immunity is one way for our body’s defenses to build up protection against infectious diseases,” Dr Lota explained.

    To guide parents about vaccination, Dr. Lota emphasized that talking to a pediatrician or private doctor is key to keep your child on track in getting vaccinated. “They should turn to us instead of asking their neighbors about it,” Dr. Lota reminded.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt to almost everything in the world, and this includes vaccination. Now that we are adapting to the new normal, strict health and safety protocols are in place for parents to start bringing again their child “Back to Bakuna.”

    Giving out vaccinations during the “new normal” can be very crucial, but parents should be reminded that at this time vaccination is more essential than ever to help protect their children from getting serious diseases.

    Dr. Lota shared that catch-up vaccination is being implemented. This is an immunization approach based on national immunization schedule which is deemed essential because of the disruption in giving out vaccines at the height of the pandemic. She assures that clinics/hospitals are prepared with strict and meticulous health and safety protocols to administer vaccines again

    Aside from talking to your doctors, proper education and the right access to information is one of the key factors to spread the importance of immunization. This is where the advocacy campaign Call the Shots PH comes in. It is an awareness advocacy campaign by MSD in the Philippines that shares informative materials that helps parents protect their children from vaccine-preventable diseases.