DOH: Unvaxxed kids could start outbreaks
Department of Health (DOH) Officer in Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire has warned that children who had not been given their routine vaccines could be “the source of outbreaks” as the country struggles to achieve the ideal immunization target of 95 percent of all kids against vaccine-preventable diseases.
“So, what we are doing right now … we are mobilizing the catch-up vaccination in the local government units,” she said at a recent press briefing. “Aside from COVID-19 vaccination, we are focusing on vaccines for children.”
Routine vaccines for children, starting when they are just weeks-old, protect them from life-threatening diseases, such as polio, measles and tuberculosis (TB).
“I would say that it is a cause for concern if your children are unvaccinated,” Vergeire said.
About 2 million Filipino children under 2 years old have not received their shots against vaccine-preventable diseases, she said.
Vergeire said only 36 percent of eligible children have been fully immunized, way below the ideal 95 percent strongly recommended by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) to indicate that outbreaks could be averted.
According to Unicef, which provides development and humanitarian aid to children worldwide, children have to complete all the required vaccine doses by the time they are 1-year-old.
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