DOH so far reaches 73% of target coverage for measles, polio vaccination
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has so far vaccinated 73 percent of its target population for inoculation against measles and rubella, and 72.9 percent of its target vaccinees against polio as part of its second phase of immunization drive.
According to a statement from the DOH on Tuesday, the percentage represents 3,721,186 children vaccinated against measles and rubella and 3,483,423 against polio.
The second phase of the Measles-Rubella and Oral Polio Vaccination Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-OPV SIA), which covers Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon, and Visayas, started last February 1 and will run until February 28.
“We call on our local government units, who have better access to their constituents, to pitch in and assure our mothers that our health centers are safe places where they can get their children vaccinated,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque said.
“As long as we are able to comply with our minimum public health standards, as well as the protocols of the health centers, we can be protected from Covid-19,” he added.
In Luzon, the measles-rubella vaccination program in Metro Manila has so far covered 71.3 percent or 726,006 children aged nine to 59 months, according to DOH. Meanwhile, Central Luzon and Calabarzon have vaccinated 826,870 (85.4%) and 913,822 (70.2%) children within the same age bracket, respectively.
For the polio vaccination, 964,249 children (85.1 percent of target) aged 59 months and below have been vaccinated in Central Luzon, while 1,069,791 children (70.2 percent) have been vaccinated in Calabarzon.
In Visayas, 516,748 children (78.2 percent) in Western Visayas 422,104 children (60.9 percent) in Central Visayas, and 315,636 children (68.8 percent) in Eastern Visayas have been vaccinated against measles and rubella.
Meanwhile, 588,197 children (76.4 percent) in Western Visayas, 497,067 children (60.9 percent) in Central Visayas, and 364,119 children (68.0 percent) in Eastern Visayas have been inoculated against polio.
The DOH earlier said Phase 2 of the immunization drive aims to vaccinate 5.1 million children aged 9 to 59 months old with the measles-rubella vaccine and 4.8 million children aged 59 months old and below for the oral polio vaccine.
Phase 1 of the immunization program last year in Mindanao, Cordillera, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Mimaropa and Bicol Region posted coverage of 93 percent for the MR vaccine and 89 percent for OPV.
The DOH said that as of February 21, the target number of children left to be vaccinated remains above 1.3 million for measles and rubella vaccine and 1.2 million for oral polio vaccine.
The health department likewise urged all parents and guardians of children eligible to get vaccinated to participate in the free immunization program.
“We can decrease the prevalence of cases of measles, rubella, and polio through vaccination. These vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective for over 40 years, and parents need not have second thoughts. Above all, we can prevent unnecessary deaths that are caused by these illnesses,” Duque said.
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