Vaccinating for a healthy future
My name is Czarina Alfonso, a member of the class of 2020 at Holy Angels in Demarest, New Jersey. For the past six months, I solicited from family and friends with the goal of raising funds to give free Pneumococcal (Prevnar 13) vaccines to daycare children in the Philippines, since pneumonia is the leading cause of death with a mortality rate of 23.4 x 100,000 population. In addition, the Pneumococcal vaccine is not available to the poorest population due to the high cost.
I was able to raise $8000, enough to vaccinate 145 daycare children. I coordinated with the local pediatrician to use their facility to ensure that the cold chain for vaccine transport and storage was maintained. Coordination with local health officials was also done for vaccine information dissemination and for obtaining parental consent.
Having seen my dad struggle with polio, I understand the importance of vaccines.
The average cost for the pneumococcal vaccine in the United States is $200. This is equal to 10,295.40 Philippine Pesos.
Unfortunately, the cost for a single vaccine is one fifth of of the average income of a typical Filipino family. Many families have more than one child which means that the price of getting vaccinated is extremely high.
For this reason, we aim to raise enough money to vaccinate day care aged children for free.