THE Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday vowed to continue to strengthen the information campaign on vaccination, disclosing that the P7.4-billion budget for its national immunization program in 2018 had a 98-percent utilization rate—a report that appeared directed at critics.
“Based on our public records, we had a 98-percent utilization rate which translates to an expenditure of P7.30 billion,” the DOH said in a statement.
The agency said bulk of the budget was allocated for the procurement and use of vaccines for all life stages including infants, adolescents, and senior citizens, while the rest were for injection devices.
“Specifically, for the Measles Mumps Rubella vaccines which are currently in use, we ensured that all doses planned have been procured, despite inflation of vaccine costs. We unfortunately still witnessed a drop in the vaccination rate due to vaccine hesitancy,” the DOH added.
The DOH also thanked the Office of the President for its support in boosting the campaign to educate the public on the importance of vaccination and to correct misconceptions about it.
“Vaccination only works when there is collective action. We very much hope to get the support of the public, government agencies and civil societies in our fight against measles and misinformation.”