Children, whose ages are 5 and below, priority for mass vaccination of poliovirus
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The children ages 5 years old and below, who have not completed their poliovirus immunization, will be the priority for Cebu City’s mass vaccination to prevent polio infection after its presence has been detected in the Butuanon River.
City Health Officer Daisy Villa said that they had completed their inventory of the polio vaccines, and they only had enough for the routine immunization done to babies, a service freely offered to Cebu City residents.
However, the city does not have enough vaccines for the approximately 30,000 children aged five and below. The Cebu City Health Department (CHD) will need more funds to purchase the vaccines
“Unahon nato ang mga bata kay sila man gud ang grabe maapektuhan aning polio. Makaform gyod silag deformities. (We have to prioritize the children because they well be affected the most if infected with polio. They have more chances of having deformities),” said Villa.
Villa said they had begun conducting surveys on the children, who had failed to complete their poliovirus immunization, which would come in four doses at each of the following ages: 2 months old, 4 months old, 6 through 18 months old, and 4 through 6 years old.
The vaccines should protect the vaccinated from poliomyelitis which causes infantile paralysis.
Since the polio vaccination significantly decreased amid het dengvaxia scare of 2019, the CHD is left with the challenge of bringing back the faith of the public in the immunization process.
Butuanon environmental assessment
Since the disease can be spread through fecal matter entering the mouth, Villa said there would be a need for environmental assessment along the Butuanon River to ensure that there would be no households releasing fecal matter into the river.
The Butuanon River is a 23 kilometer river that cuts through Cebu City and Mandaue City.
She said only one out of 80 barangays actually had sufficient public restrooms with the proper septic treatment.
She said that the rest of the barangays still had issues on proper septage, especially in densely populated areas.
This environmental concern increases the risk of the spread of polio during these times.
Still, Villa said that there had been no cases of polio yet in the city, and the city government had already put up as much precautionary measures as it could.
The Cebu City Health Department hopes to ask for a budget from the City Council in the next session. /dbs
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.