DOH-7 reiterates call for kids to be vaccinated vs measles, polio
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Central Visayas needs to vaccinate more children if it meant rendering the national government’s inoculation program against measles and polio effective.
As of February 7, 2021, data from the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) showed that only 18 percent of qualified children received their shots for Measles-Rubella and polio.
This meant that only 97, 631 out of the target of 434,203 children were inoculated for measles. For polio, only 148, 796 out of the 666,845 children received their shots.
Cebu City, among all provinces and highly urbanized cities in Central Visayas, had the lowest number of children vaccinated against measles and polio, at 10.37 percent and 9.97 percent respectively.
Other local governments in the region still need to catch up on their targets, too.
For measles, the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, and Negros Oriental recorded a success rate of 23.3 percent, 17.3 percent, and 15.4 percent as of February 7.
With 28.96 percent, Mandaue City posted the highest rate among all localities in Central Visayas in its measles immunization coverage.
Lapu-Lapu City, meanwhile, reported a 16.1 percent success rate.
For polio, Mandaue City remained as the local government with the highest success rate so far, with 27.4 percent. Its neighboring Lapu-Lapu City was at 16.8 percent.
Meanwhile, the provinces of Bohol, Cebu and Negros Oriental reported 23.2 percent, 18.3 percent, and 15.8 percent in its polio immunization coverage as of February 7.
DOH-7, together with other local government units (LGUs) here, launched last January 29, 2021 phase 2 of Chikiting Ligtas, the program aimed to address low immunization coverage.
It can be recalled that the region is among the areas in the Philippines that have noted a drop in the number of children successfully inoculated against measles and polio, the latter of which reemerged in the country last 2019.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of DOH-7, said a locality must achieve an 95 percent success rate in order to eradicate these fatal diseases.
“We should not go lower than 95 percent to eliminate these diseases,” Loreche said in a recent press briefer.
Loreche said the challenges brought about by the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) made it more difficult for health authorities to have more children inoculated in a shorter span of time, as the stigma against vaccines due to the Dengvaxia mess in 2018 remained the root cause in last year’s drop of immunization coverage.
This prompted them to urge parents not to hesitate on having their children inoculated.
“The way I look at it is, number one, the fear due to the Dengvaxia. We cannot just dismiss the impact of the Dengvaxia fiasco on our inoculation programs,” she explained.
“This is why we continue to encourage our parents that they should never be afraid in having their children vaccinated. In history, vaccines have really saved lives,” she added.
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