Dagupan City is strengthening its fight against pertussis or whooping cough with a vaccination drive prioritizing those most vulnerable to the disease - children.

Among those who availed of the vaccination for her four-month-old baby is Rose Marie De Guzman.

"Baka tamaan ng [ sila ng sakit], nakakatakot din… pinapa-checkup ko tapos pinapa-inject," she said.

"Lahat ng one year old pababa ay kinakailangan na magkaroon ng tatlong doses ng pertussis vaccine. Sa ating mga RHU [Rural Health Unit], ito ay nakasama doon sa tinatawag na five in one or pentavalent vaccine," Dr. Rheuel Bobis, spokesperson for Center for Health Development 1 (CHD-1), said.

Even adults can contract the bacterial disease, so adhering to basic health and safety protocols is crucial to prevent its spread.

Common symptoms include coughing, fever, and runny nose.

Bobis reiterated the importance of wearing face masks and practicing hand hygiene to prevent pertussis.

"Atin pa ring ipinapanawagan ‘yung pagsusuot ng face mask para sa prevention at paghuhugas ng kamay para sa prevention ng pertussis kasi katulad ng COVID-19, ang pertussis ay naikakalat din through respiratory droplet," he said.

It is also important to consult health clinics and hospitals for proper diagnosis and treatment if symptoms arise.