Back in July 2012, the Deparment of Health introduced the Rotavirus vaccine as part of its expanded immunization program. It was given in three doses (at 2nd month, 4th month & 6th month) and the cost was free – for 700,000 infants from the poorest families.
Fast forward to 2020. Diarrhea is still among the leading causes of hospitalization in the Philippines among children aged 0-3. The common culprit? A type of rotavirus strain.
Vaccines can prevent 93% of rotavirus gastroenteritis in high socio-economic settings and up to 51% in low socio-economic settings, according to this study. In short, it’s pretty effective.
Sadly, rotavirus vaccines are not free at barangay health centers these days. It might be a necessity but it’s not yet high on the Department of Health’s list of priorities.
So, How Much Does a Rotavirus Vaccine Cost in the Philippines?
On a recent survey I’ve conducted, here’s the estimated price of rotavirus vaccine in hospitals/clinics:
Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital: P1,500 per dose (3-dose Rota vaccine)
Perpetual Succour Hospital: P2650 per dose for Rotarix (2-dose rotavirus oral drops) and P2,000 per dose for Rotateq (3-dose rotavirus oral drops)
Health Center in Quezon City: P2,500 per dose (3-dose rotavirus vaccine)
Private Pedia in Quezon City: P3,500 per dose (3-dose rotavirus vaccine)
Private Pedia Clinic in Cebu: P4,000 per dose (2-dose rotavirus vaccine)
Feel free to share in the comments below how much you’ve paid.
Is the 2-Dose Rotavirus Vaccine Less Effective?
Based on NPS Medicinewise, there’s no proof that Rotarix (2-dose rotavirus vaccine) is inferior to RotaTeq (3-dose rotavirus vaccine). Either of the two helps prevent seriously dehydrating gastroenteritis and potentially dangerous diarrhea.
Is it worth investing P6,000 to P8000 on Rotavirus vaccines?
Prevention is not a sexy term. We don’t appreciate health unless we get sick. But we can’t have the same mindset when it comes to our baby’s health.
If spending this amount means avoiding hospitalization and stress down the line, it’s a no-brainer why it’s necessary. New parents ought to budget for this vaccine so that the baby can get the protection he/she needs. For efficacy, the schedule of rotavirus vaccine must be strictly followed.