House approves bill boosting vaccine program

THE HOUSE of Representatives on Monday approved on final reading a bill seeking to boost the government’s free immunization program.

Under House Bill 8558, the Health department will set up a national immunization program that will protect people from vaccine-preventable diseases that can cause disability or death through an integrated and comprehensive immunization program “for all life stages.”

The vaccines will cover diseases such as tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, German measles, Hepatitis-B, type B influenza, rotavirus, Japanese encephalitis, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, human papillomavirus and certain boosters.

Vaccines will be free of charge at any government hospital or health facility, public school or community.

The bill also creates an advisory group that will decide and issue policies on immunization. — Gillian M. Cortez

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