Gov’t urges Pinoys to join vax campaign

Gov’t urges Pinoys to join vax campaign

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 05:46 AM April 14, 2024

HOME VISITS A health worker inoculates a baby in QuezonCity as part of the government’s bid to boost its immunization program. —LYN RILLON

HOME VISITS A health worker inoculates a baby in Quezon City as part of the government’s bid to boost its immunization program. LYN RILLON

MANILA, Philippines — The government urged Filipinos, particularly those with young children, to take advantage of the ongoing vaccination drive against measles, rubella and polio and even asked private companies to encourage employees to join the immunization campaign.

The Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) on Saturday encouraged private employers to allow or excuse from work employees accompanying their children during the ongoing nationwide vaccination drive against measles, rubella and polio.


The guidelines, in support of the government’s nationwide immunization activity on April 1 to April 15, are contained in Labor Advisory No. 04, series of 2024, dated March 27 and signed by Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma.


READ: Why vaccine-preventable diseases are back

Under the advisory, private sector employers, particularly those with employees who have children aged six months to 59 months (4-year-old), are highly encouraged to allow their employees to be excused from work when they accompany their children on scheduled vaccination or when they must take care of their children who will experience adverse effects or reactions to the vaccine.

Upon resumption of work, the concerned employee will present proof of vaccination. He or she may likewise be allowed to utilize available leave credits during the immunization activity subject to company policy or collective bargaining agreement granting the same.

The Dole advised employers to coordinate with the health department of their respective local governments on the scheduled immunization to ensure availability of the vaccines.

The department, meanwhile, said companies with institutionalized immunization programs are encouraged, through their occupational safety and health committees, to conduct the immunization activities in the establishments as part of their family welfare program.

READ: Get children jabbed, doctors push parents


Measles surge

The Department of Health (DOH) has logged about 2,500 cases of measles nationwide, with 1,600 of which coming from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) as many eligible children there remain unvaccinated against the disease.

On Wednesday, Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said he cannot declare an outbreak nationwide because vaccination rates are high in other places, but the DOH aims to end the measles outbreak in the BARMM in four to six weeks.

READ: In BARMM, religious leaders endorse measles vax to Muslims

Vaccination vs measles

In a national scale, the DOH aims to vaccinate 90 percent of children ages six months to 10 years to control cases of measles.

Measles is a contagious disease that spreads in the air through coughing or sneezing. While it is more common among all children, it affects all age groups.

As of April 10, the DOH said in a press statement it has vaccinated 646,840 children against measles.

Herbosa said the figure translates to “47 percent of 1,381,540 million Filipino children who are eligible for vaccination against measles.”

The statement added, “Of those vaccinated, 91,309 were six to 23 months old; 205,234 were two years old and below five years old; and 350,337 were five-to-nine years old.”

The DOH joined a partnership with the World Health Organization, UN Childrens Fund (Unicef) and the BARMM Ministry of Health to undertake a free immunization drive.

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The Unicef will help buy 1 million doses of measles vaccines for BARMM and another 1 million “for the rest of the country.”

TAGS: child vaccination, DoH, DOLE, measles, Polio, rubella

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