Vaccination for polio and diphtheria should go together
Here we go again. The Department of Health (DOH) has gone on an all-out regional polio vaccination after receiving reports of several polio patients around the Luzon area, thereby putting DPT vaccination (against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus) in the back burner.
We have to remind the DOH that cases of diphtheria are now being reported, and these are more serious and contagious than polio. Diphtheria can easily be spread through coughing and sneezing. In a span of three days, a patient dies if not given a diphtheria antitoxin.
The DOH should have simultaneously included diphtheria in the program for polio mass vaccination, to ensure both vaccines’ lasting effects.
We have been free from polio and diphtheria for the past three decades, and the DOH is solely in charge of the vaccination program, while we parents have an obligation to make sure our children are immunized, especially for polio and diphtheria.
ELISEO R. REBLANDO, MD, FPAFP, DFP,