DOH launches nationwide immunization drive vs measles, rubella, polio
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday launched a nationwide supplemental immunization campaign to vaccinate children against measles, rubella, and polio.
DOH officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire stressed the importance of the campaign in informing and encouraging Filipino children to get vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases that continue to exist in the country.
“One of the Department’s evergreen goals is to protect our children from vaccine-preventable diseases, and these include measles, rubella, and polio,” Vergeire said in a statement.
“This is also a time to renew public trust in the value of all vaccines and continue to build long-term support and awareness for immunization, as vaccines have proven to be critical in containing or limiting outbreaks of infectious diseases,” she added.
The DOH also said it is now mobilizing the “full weight of its financial and human resources” for the campaign by allocating funds to the Centers for Health Development, which hires vaccinators and for risk communications and advocacy activities and delivery of vaccines and other supplies.
“This support shall also extend to routine vaccinations until the end of the year. As an aid to the campaign, the WHO and UNICEF support the Department by providing assistance in procuring vaccines, deploying additional health staff, engaging with communities to address hesitancy and misinformation, and building cold chain capacities, among others,” the agency said.
The nationwide supplemental immunization campaign against measles, rubella, and polio is dubbed “Chikiting Ligtas 2023: Join the Big Catch Up, Magpabakuna para sa Healthy Pilipinas!” Its launch was held at the Fil-Oil Arena in San Juan City.
UNICEF Communication Chief Niko Wieland, UNICEF Health Specialist Carla Orozco, and WHO Vaccine-Preventable Diseases and Immunization Lead Robert Kezaala were also present during the launch.