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EXPANDED PROGRAM ON IMMUNIZATION [EPI]


(A research assignment)

The Expanded Program on Immunization was launched in July 1976 by the


Department of Health in cooperation with the World Health Organization and the
UNICEF. It aims to control the occurrence of preventable diseases especially of the
children. Furthermore its original objective was to reduce the morbidity and mortality
among infants and children caused by the six childhood immunizable diseases:
Tuberculosis, Diptheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hepatitis B, and Measles [Polio can also
be added].

EPI has different principles, as follows:


1. The program is based on epidemiological situation; schedules are drawn on
the basis of the occurrence and characteristic epidemiological features of the
disease.
2. The whole community rather than just the individual is to be protected, thus
mass approached is utilized.
3. Immunization is a basic health service and such it is integrated in to the
health services being provided for by the Rural Health Unit.

EPI also has some elements –


1. Target setting
2. Cold chain logistic management
3. Information, Education and Communication
4. Assessment and evaluation of the program’s overall performance
5. Surveillance, studies and research
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Immunization Schedule
This Routine Immunization Schedule for Infants must be used in order to
provide maximal immunity to the seven EPI diseases before the child’s first birthday.

Minimum
Vaccine Minimum Number Interval Reasons
Age at 1st of Dose Between
Dose Doses
1. BCG Birth or any 1 BCG given at the earliest
time after possible age protects
birth against the possibility of
infection from other
family members
2. DPT 6 weeks 3 4 weeks An early start with DPT
reduces the chance of
severe pertussis
3. OPV 6 weeks 3 4 weeks The extent of protection
against polio is increased
the earlier OPV is given
4. Hepatitis B 6 weeks 3 4 weeks An early start of Hepa B
reduces the chance of
being infected and
becoming a carrier
5. Measles 9 months 1 At least 80% of measles
can be prevented by
immunization at this age.

Note: BCG immunization shall be given to all school entrants both in private and public
school regardless of the presence or absence of BCG scar.
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In addition, there is also the Tetanus Toxoid Immunization Schedule for


Women.

Vaccine Minimum Age Percent Duration of Protection


Interval Protected
TT1 As early as
possible during 80%
pregnancy
TT2 At least 4 weeks 80% Infants born to the mother
later will be protected from neo-
natal tetanus

Gives 3 years protection for


the mother
TT3 At least 6 90% Infants born to the mother
months later will be protected from neo-
natal tetanus

Gives 5 years protection for


the mother
TT4 At least 1 year 99% Infants born to the mother
later will be protected from neo-
natal tetanus

Gives 10 years protection


for the mother
TT5 At least 1 year 99% Gives lifetime protection for
later the mother

All infants born to that


mother will be protected
Note: If the woman received DPT in infancy 3 or 3 doses of DPT during infancy, this should
be considered as TT1 and TT2. Succeeding doses will be TT3 and so forth.
Reference:

Reyala, et.al. Community Health Nursing Services in the Philippines. Community


Health Nursing Section, National League of Philippine Government Nurses,
Inc., 2000. pp. 108-113.