DOH extends measles, polio vaccination drive until March 7
MANILA, Philippines — Phase two of the government’s vaccination drive against measles, rubella, and polio will be extended until March 7, to reach the Department of Health’s (DOH) goal to immunize 95 percent of the target population, the health department said Wednesday.
The immunization program was initially scheduled to end on February 28.
As of March 1, there are 83.7 percent or 4,269,423 children have been vaccinated against measles and rubella while 82.4 percent or 3,939,677 of the national target have been vaccinated against polio, according to DOH.
In Central Luzon, a total of 881,789 children aged nine to 59 months old, or 91.1 percent of the target, were vaccinated against measles and rubella, making the region reach the highest coverage of the vaccination campaign so far. Meanwhile, there are 1,026,404 or 90.6 percent of children aged 59 months old and below had been vaccinated against polio in the region.
In Metro Manila, 873,532 children, or 85.7 percent, have received the measles and rubella vaccines.
In Calabarzon, 1,031,342 or 79.2 percent of the total coverage were inoculated against measles and rubella, while 1,205,345 or 79.1 percent were vaccinated against polio.
The DOH also said that 87.7 percent or 579,319 children have been vaccinated against measles and rubella in the Bicol region, 78.5 percent or 544,047 in Central Visayas, and 78.3 percent or 359,394 in Eastern Visayas.
The DOH further said there were 85.7 percent coverage or 660,354 vaccinated children in Western Visayas, 78 percent or 363,508 in Central Visayas, while 76.7 percent or 411,066 from other regions have been able to receive polio vaccines.
More than 800,000 children have yet to receive their vaccines in the targeted regions, according to DOH.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III encouraged parents and legal guardians to have their 0-59-month-old children vaccinated against polio and measles.
“To our parents and guardians, let us retain our confidence in vaccines and put our trust in science. These vaccines are proven safe and effective. Let us protect our children and not deny them the opportunity to grow into healthy individuals, free from vaccine-preventable illnesses,” Duque said in a statement.
He also called the local government to continue supporting its campaign on vaccines.
“Millions of children are saved every year from these diseases through vaccination. Thus, we call on our local government units to continue strengthening our vaccination programs and ensure maximum coverage under the MR-OPV SIA (Measles Rubella and Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity),” he added.
DOH earlier said that phase 2 of the MR-OPV SIA program aims for the vaccination of 5.1 million children between 9 and 59 months old against measles, and 4.77 million infants up to 59 months old against polio. Liezelle Soriano Roy, INQUIRER.net trainee