Friday, November 23, 2012

Importance of Rotavirus Vaccination

I was happy to secure a slot for a health awareness conference (Rotavirus Vaccine, to be exact) which I just attended yesterday in Ayala Mall, Cebu City. It was a great event since I didn’t just learned a lot from the said topic but as well, I was also challenge to note things that should be done and those not to. Anyway, I’m going to share to you what we have tackled in there.

The event was emceed by Mr. Coby (actually, I forgot what is his complete name and neither I am sure of his name as well. Sorry for that though) and which was also organized by Mr. Jeff Tan (the Director for Strategic Marketing Communications of Idea Buffet). The said conference was discussed to us by Dr. Juliet Aguilar with the help of the other Doctor (sorry, I missed her name againL).

Since I am a mom of two, I didn’t hesitate to reserve a slot for the Rotavirus Vaccine event. And it was indeed worth my presence because I have missed a lot of things which are needed for me to note especially when it comes to my kids.

The topic comes with a theme of “Save our Children: Fight against Rotavirus Diarrhea”. The time I read this, it made me excite since a new lesson for me to learn wherein I could also share to my readers as well.

more photos of the event HERE.

Facts about Rotavirus

  • (WHO’s own definition) is the passage of 3 or more loose or liquid stools per day, or more frequently than is normal for the individual.
  • A very serious and deadly disease.
  • The second leading killer of children 5 years old below.
Rotavirus tops the leading cause of diarrhea in the Philippines and worldwide. According to the statistic, one child dies every minute. Imagine in an hour, there are 60 minutes. And in that 60 minute time, there are 60 children dying too. This also means that there are 1,500 children die each day annually, because of this disease.  In Philippines, it is stated that there are at least 13 children ages five below die every day which is equivalent to 12% of deaths among children under five in the country. That tremendous Rotavirus Diarrhea is.

How seriously this rotavirus disease to children?

Rotavirus Infection is a threat to every child ages 5 below. It is life threatening. They may suffer from Rotavirus Gastroenteritis (vomiting and abnormal stool loose) which will lead them to dehydration (loss of liquid in the body) and die if not rushed for help. 

Rotavirus infection is categorized into three. These are the following:

1st infection- usually moderate to severe.

2nd infection- considered mild.

3rd to 5th infection- asymptomatic (doesn’t show symptoms at all) or consider as immune to the body who gotten the infection for several times already.

Although, there are fortunate children survive from this drastic disease still they are not lucky enough. Rotavirus Diarrhea also leads to serious long term effects in a child’s development for ages 0-2 y/o.
  • Height- Growth shortfalls of ranging from 3.6cm-8.2cm when a child reaches the age of 7
  • Fitness- Physical fitness reduction by the age of 4-7 of 4-8%
  • Cognitive function- This also has impact towards kids’ cognition. Repeated bouts of diarrhea in the first 2 years of life can lead to a loss of 10 IQ points and 12 mos. of schooling by the age of 9.

What causes Rotavirus Diarrhea/Disease?
Rotavirus disease is everywhere. It is a democratic disease affecting everyone no matter where you reside. Even if you belong to rural or progressive/developed area, rotavirus still occurs. 

According to WHO, infection is spread through contaminated food or drinking-water, or from person to person as a result of poor hygiene. To those pure breastfeeding moms, we can only protect our kids from this disease until in his/her first 6 months of life.

How to avoid this disease?
Proper sanitation and clean water supplies still, don’t give the people 100% assurance of safety against from this disease. As this virus is spread everywhere even inside our home.

Ways on how to prevent before it’s too late:
  • Disease Awareness- Consulting our doctor about RV vaccine. It is best for us to consult our doctors before our kids can get this particular disease.
  • Early protection as early as 6 weeks (Rotavirus Vaccination).
What is Rotavirus Vaccination and how important it is?
This was the whole event promoted about. Rotavirus Vaccine is the most effective way to prevent diarrhea related childhood deaths under 5 years of age. It is given orally to kids which is easy to give to them compare to other types of vaccines (injectable ones).

**Rotavirus Vaccination has been implemented in developed countries such as Australia, USA, Spain and UK.

List of the countries where **RV now part of EPI/UMV: USA, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, and GAVI eligible countries- Bolivia, Honduras. And in Asia, Philippines is the first country to promote rotavirus vaccine in *EPI

It has been announced as well in media that this particular vaccination is now part of the *Expanded Program for Immunization (EPI) in 2012. It is free for those people who can’t afford to pay for private doctor/pedia, those who can’t even afford to eat three times a day due to financial problems they encounter everyday- or commonly known as “poorest of the poor”.

There are 2 million newborn babies annually, yet out of it; only 700,000 (member of poorest of the poor) newborns are reserved to avail this vaccine for free through health centers.

The current status of Rotavirus Vaccination in Philippines:
  • 1/10 is given a RV vaccine in private doctors (pediatrician)
  • 3/10 are given RV vaccine for FREE (poorest of the poor)
  • 6/10 remaining children are not given RV vaccines due to financial problems (yet not categorized as poorest of the poor), which are high risk for RV infection.

With that, our government is pleasing those who can afford to pay in private to give way in line to those poorest the poor in free RV vaccine in health centers.

Hopefully, by 2015 (WHO’s goal), Philippines could achieve 2/3 reduction in child’s mortality among 5 years old below. 

Why should a child be given a RV Vaccine?
Rotavirus Diarrhea is a serious disease. If a child gets this, low chances s/he is capable to survive. That’s why, children especially those infants should be given RV vaccine as early as 6 weeks in order to low his or her risk or prevent him or her to get the Rotavirus Disease in the future.

As a parent, why should I include this vaccine to his or her EPI?
There you have it. If you don’t want to lose your child, then give him RV vaccine. If you don’t want to face financial problems in the future, give him RV vaccine. If you don’t want to add problems in your stressful work, then give him RV vaccine.
Hospitalization due to acute gastroenteritis/diarrhea bears a very serious impact on the patient and parents’ quality of life as well as on their livelihood. Working caregivers had an average of PhP1,000 income loss per day. Amongst working caregivers, almost all missed 1-3 days of work or more. More than half of the caregivers had spent more than PhP5,000 (an average of Php7,870.00) for all the medical expenses.

How much does RV Vaccine cost in private doctors/pedia?
That varies. But as per estimation, (vaccine costs alone) it ranges from PhP2500-3500 excluding PF of your pediatrician.

And as per Dr. Juliet Aguilar, in her part she gives RV vaccine as early as 6 weeks of a child’s life. But in health centers, this is usually given to a child when s/he reaches 8 months of his life.

Why risk, if we can all prevent this deadly disease through giving our child RV vaccine before it’s too late.

Again, I would like to thank Mr. Tan and Mr. Coby (and the rest of the staff) for being so accommodating and of course, Dr. Aguilar and the other Doctor for taking time to be with us and discussed what RV is all about. 


  1. We parents should definitely put our children's health at the top of our priorities list. It's sad that the less fortunate are deprived of the privilege of getting that RV vaccine.

  2. The statistics is very alarming. I hope the Philippines get enough support from both the government and private sectors to ensure that every child gets vaccinated, especially those who belong to poor families.

    Time to spread the RV Vaccine awareness!

  3. Here in the US it's mandatory to have this shot for kids.

  4. hhmmmm never heard of that vaccine until now. thanks for sharing the info though

  5. i am in the US and yearly, in fact just 2 months ago, i jusrt borught my son to the doctor for an updated shots needed by the school. They never mentioned about rotavirus nor request for it.

  6. This type of event should be attended by all parents in order to avoid certain harmful diseases.

  7. as a parent, the health of my son is on top of my priotity.. good for you to have attended such event

  8. what a great opportunity...this is something I would like to attend.

  9. My son had all his vaccination shots complete but I am not sure if this rotavirus vaccine was included. I'll check his card.

  10. if i'm still in Cebu surely I'm in this event.. great opps sis

  11. It's my first time to hear about such virus. This information is really helpful-- and yes, I agree that we should spend on our kids' health. LIke they say, "health is wealth," right?

  12. That's wonderful mommy. Glad you were able to attend then and you knew some things you never knew before. It is always nice to be able to learn something especially when it comes to our health and the kids as well.

  13. My girls had this vaccination when they were little. And like most Moms, I am all for immunization and making our kids healthy.

  14. Thanks to Science, vaccines to keep baby's life intact are sprouting up. My baby is not a baby anymore so I dunno if this vaccine is still applicable for her.

  15. Oh my God, that's scary! This is something that all parents should note..they must get their kids vaccinated to fight against this kind virus.

  16. I'm glad I had my son received the rotavirus vaccine at an early age upon the recommendation of his pedia. I'm glad I listened to his doctor because he's never had a serious problem with diarrhea from then 'til now.

  17. In spite of the many questions surrounding vaccines and its effects, I think I am still more comfortable with having my children avail of the benefits unless of course if there are proven risks.

  18. It's only now that I learned of Rotavirus and Rotavirus vaccine. I think there's no such vaccine yet when I gave birth to my daughter. Thanks for sharing this.

  19. This is such a very informative post. I bet moms out there would be very pleased to know more information about Rotavirus. For sure there's such vaccine here in Germany, I just don't know what it's called. hehe. Thank you for sharing.

  20. I don't think my daughter had a shot of that vaccine.. I'll check with her pedia.Thanks for sharing.

  21. narinig ko na rin ito actually..pero hindi ko nabigyang pansin...thanks for the info..