‘This will not be easy’: DOH launches vaccine drive vs polio with Church backing
MARAWI CITY—Health officials got the full backing of the Church for a massive vaccination drive targeting at least 134,411 children under five in Lanao del Sur alone, aiming to push back the deadly disease polio to its grave.
In a campaign dubbed “Sabayang Patak (Simultaneous Drop)” the Department of Health (DOH) on Monday launched a vaccination drive that seeks to cover at least 95 percent of children under five nationwide.
“This will not be easy,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque, who led the launch at the new provincial capitol here of the first round of the mass vaccination program that would last until Oct. 27.
“We will need everyone’s full participation,” Duque said at the launch.
Church leaders were quick to show their support for the vaccination campaign which became urgent as polio, once declared dead in the Philippines, returned to life.
Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles issued a circular directing all parish priests and chaplains of public chapels to read the DOH polio vaccination schedule during Sunday Mass until January for churchgoers to be reminded.
DOH confirmed the return to life of the polio virus through tests made on sewage in Manila and Davao waterways.
The presence of the virus prompted the DOH to prepare a three-round vaccination campaign. In its announcement, the DOH said Davao City is priority area. With a report by Germelina Lacorte/TSB
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