The Ministry of Public Health Begins Pediatric Vaccination with Hexavalent Dose
New Vaccine Protects Newborns and Infants Against Six Diseases
June 18, 2023 – 11:25 AM
The Ministry of Public Health (MPSBS) will commence the administration of the hexavalent vaccine starting tomorrow. This vaccine provides protection against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae B, and poliomyelitis. It is now included in the regular vaccination schedule and is recommended for infants born from April 2023 onwards, as stated by the Expanded Immunization Program (PAI).
Dr. Hector Castro, the director of the PAI, emphasized the importance of immunizing newborns and infants at 2, 4, 6, and 18 months of age. He urged parents not to miss this opportunity to safeguard their children against various diseases.
In the initial phase, the Ministry of Public Health has allocated 250,000 vaccinations for children. These vaccinations will be available at all vaccination centers under the health portfolio, starting tomorrow.
What About Children Born Before April 2023?
For children born before April 2023 who have already initiated their vaccination schedule with pentavalent and anti-polio doses, they will need to complete the remaining doses as prescribed. These vaccines offer protection against the same diseases as the hexavalent vaccine, with the only difference being the number of vaccinations required.
Parents who initially chose to vaccinate their children in the private sector but now wish to receive the hexavalent vaccine through the public system can do so without any inconvenience.
Regular Vaccination Schedule According to Age
- Newborns: BCG vaccine for severe forms of tuberculosis and HEPB vaccine for hepatitis B virus (pediatric).
- 2 months: rotavirus vaccine, hexavalent vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough pertussis, hepatitis B, poliomyelitis (inactivated), Haemophilus influenzae B), and 13-valent conjugate pneumococcal vaccine for pneumonia, meningitis, and otitis.
- 4 months: rotavirus vaccine, hexavalent vaccine, and 13-valent conjugate pneumococcal vaccine.
- 6 months: hexavalent vaccine.
- 6 to 35 months: seasonal influenza vaccine (annual dose).
- 12 months: 13-valent conjugate pneumococcal vaccine, MMR vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella, and AA vaccine for yellow fever.
- 15 months: Varicella vaccine for chickenpox and Hepatitis A vaccine.
- 18 months: Hexavalent vaccine and MMR vaccine.
- 4 years: IPV vaccine for polio and DPT vaccine for diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus.
- 5 years: varicella vaccine.
- Adolescents (9 to 14 years): HPV vaccine for Human Papilloma Virus (only for women) and Tdpa vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough.