DOH launches vaccination program to check measles outbreak
The Department of Health (DOH) launched on Tuesday Ligtas Tigdas Supplemental Immunization Program in cooperation with the Parañaque City government to prevent the outbreak of measles after it saw a rise in cases among pregnant women and unvaccinated children.
DOH-Epidemiology Bureau recorded at least 5,450 measles cases nationwide from Jan. 1 to April 14, 2018.
Out of these cases, 905 were confirmed, which led to 15 deaths.
Of the 15 deaths, 13 were unvaccinated individuals. One was vaccinated but had an unknown number of doses, and one had an unknown status of vaccination.
“As we launch the Ligtas Tigdas campaign here in the Metro Manila, we hope to reach all parents, caregivers, and guardians emphasizing the life-saving benefits of measles vaccination,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement posted on the DOH Facebook page.
Free mass vaccinations for children aged 6 to 59 months, regardless of immunization status, will be held from April 25 to May 24 in the National Capital Region and from May 8 to June 8 for Mindanao.
Small measles outbreaks started around the last quarter of 2017 and persisted until this month, despite efforts by DOH.
A previous statement from Duque and DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo considered the Dengvaxia vaccination program mess as a reason that parents refrained from having their children immunized.
“I would like to reiterate to the public that the measles vaccine is safe and we have been doing this since the 1970’s. Measles vaccination has saved millions of lives,” Duque added. /atm
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