The Department of Health (DOH) will have a total of P7.54 billion for its national immunization program in 2020, Senator Sonny Angara said.

Under the program, vaccines will be administered for free to children, pregnant women, men and women.

2.7 million infants will be given vaccines.

More or less 2.7 million infants will be given vaccines against tuberculosis, hepatitis B, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, rubella, influenza and polio. Two million of these infants will be given flu shots.

The Department of Education will be part of the program through the administration of vaccines against tetanus, diphtheria, measles and rubella to 2.4 million Grade 1 and 1.9 million Grade 7 students.

Some 2.7 million pregnant women will be given anti-tetanus vaccines.

Some 2.7 million pregnant women will be given anti-tetanus vaccines while for the elderly, two million flu shots and 500,000 units of pneumonia vaccines will be made available.

“Kung ano man ang kulang pa, sabihin sa amin ng DOH. Pero hindi nangangahulugan na dagdag-pondo kaagad. Baka pwede, lipat-pondo within the budget of DOH,” Angara said.

“Sinasabi na nasa P650 million ang advertising budget nila. Baka pwedeng i-rechannel ito sa mga programa na in support of the vaccination drive,” the veteran legislator added.

There are other developments or health crisis that the DOH has to take into account such as the outbreak of dengue and polio, which would definitely require additional funding to address.

The proposed P160 billion budget of the DOH has already been taken up at the committee level and will be subject to further scrutiny during the plenary debates on the 2020 national budget next month.

During the plenary debates, senators would be allowed to introduce their respective amendments, which could mean augmenting or reducing particular items in the proposed budgets of the different agencies.

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