Quezon City

Multi Stakeholder Coalition Brings Health Advocacy and Free Flu Vaccination in QC for Elderly Filipino Week Celebration

October 07, 2023, Quezon City – With influenza ranking as one of the top causes of mortality among senior citizens1, various government agencies, medical groups, and civil society organizations have joined forces in bringing the Raising Awareness on Influenza to Support Elderlies (RAISE) Coalition in Quezon City, in celebration of Elderly Filipino Week. With a steadfast commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle across all generations, Quezon City proudly stands with RAISE in advocating for the revision of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act, aiming to provide increased access to free flu vaccinations for senior citizens nationwide.

The event kicked off by providing free flu vaccines to senior citizens in Quezon City. Dr. Lulu Bravo, RAISE co-convenor and PFV Executive Director emphasize the importance of flu vaccination especially as the number of elderly populations will increase in the coming years, noting, “We want our seniors to have quality of life. We want them to live to a hundred and live with a purpose. They have to be part of the national immunization program every year, especially with the flu vaccines. We need them to be vaccinated every year to preserve their life.” 

 Dr. Maria Rose Capeding, RAISE Convenor and President of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination, added, “Ang layunin ay ipaalam na ang vaccination ay very important to protect every member of the family.

Usec. Eric Tayag from the Department of Health (DOH) expressed his enthusiasm with the vaccination program, “Nakikiisa ang Kagawaran ng Kalusugan sa RAISE Coalition. Kailangan taon taon ay natatanggap natin ang vaccine para maiwasan ang komplikasyon sa influenza. Huwag balewalain dahil ang tawag lang dito ay trangkaso. Sa senior citizen ito ay mas lalong mapanganib kapag dumapo.”

Dr. Shelley Ann dela Vega, Director of the National Institute of Ageing, added, “Kami sa National Institute of Aging ay gumawa ng research, upang magkaroon ng mga polisiya at programa that are guided by evidence. Gusto namin ay more than 80 percent ng mga senior citizens ang ma bakunahan ng flu vaccines dahil ito ay nakakahawa at nakakapag dulot ng komplikasyon.”

Mayor Joy Belmonte of Quezon City highlighted the importance of protecting the health of the senior citizens against influenza, “Ibinababa na ang supply ng bakuna, at pumunta lamang kayo mga health centers para sa matanggap ang kanilang mga serbisyo. Lahat ng ahensya, DOH at lokal na gobyerno ay ginagawa ang lahat para ma protektahan ang ating mga senior citizens.”

The RAISE Coalition has also garnered support from the Department of the Interior and Local

Government represented by Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Lopez de Leon. She expressed, “Kami sa DILG ay laging naka suporta sa programa ng lokal na gobyerno. Lagi po naming kapartner and DOH sa pagpapatupad ng mga vaccination programs upang matiyak ang isang healthy Pilipinas.”

With the successful programs of the RAISE Coalition this Elderly Filipino Week, its vision extends even further. The Coalition will be working with more LGUs and legislative champions this year, striving for a truly universal healthcare system that provides health services to all citizens at no cost. This collaborative endeavor underscores their unwavering commitment to ensure a healthier and more secure future for senior citizens.

1 Yale School of Medicine. Why flu is deadly among the elderly. Available at

https://medicine.yale.edu/news/medicineatyale/article/why-flu-is-deadly-among-the-elderly/. Accessed on October 3, 2023.