Quezon City provides free anti-shingles shot for elderly

MANILA As part of the city's programs to protect the elderly from diseases, Mayor Herbert Bautista on Thursday signed an ordinance providing free anti-shingles vaccination to all registered senior residents of Quezon City.

Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a viral infection, whose symptoms include painful skin rashes and is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chicken pox.

It affects persons 60 years old and above.

Authored by Councilor Eufemio Lagumbay, City Ordinance 2760-2018 states that shingles may also result in serious complications such as scarring, hearing and vision problems.

Anti-shingles vaccines can reduce the risk of developing shingles and the complications associated with it. It can either prevent the shingles from occurring at all or make them less painful when they occur, the ordinance said.

According to the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA), there are 486,284 registered senior citizens in the city as of April 2018.

All of them will receive free anti-shingles treatment every three years.

A newly-registered senior citizen can also avail of the vaccination within three months after registration with the OSCA.

The vaccination is to be administered by the QC Health Department (QCHD) through the Barangay Health Center to senior citizen residents, depending on the supply availability of the Zotavax vaccine.

The QCHD and the OSCA are jointly responsible for documentation and the collection of data generation on the number of shingles cases among the city's senior citizen residents.

The conduct of massive information and education campaign on shingles shall also be undertaken by the two offices.

The funds necessary for the anti-shingles vaccination and information campaign against the disease will be included in the next annual budget of the city.

The amount of PHP20 million shall be allocated for the vaccination and information dissemination campaign, which will be sourced from the 1 percent allocation of the QC Senior Citizens Fund for its programs and projects.

The free anti-shingles vaccination will greatly benefit the senior citizens of QC who have significantly contributed to the development of our city as well as our nation and who are continuously imparting their wise and noble guidance and support to their families and their communities, the ordinance said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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