DOH-7 extends measles, polio vaccination period
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) has extended the inoculation schedule to protect children against measles and polio.
In an advisory released on March 2, 2021, DOH-7 announced that ‘Chikiting Ligtas’, the country’s program aimed to address low immunization coverage, will continue until Sunday, March 7.
“Extended hangtod sa Marso 7, 2021 ang Measles-Rubella & Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-OPV SIA) Phase II,” portions of the advisory read.
(The Measles-Rubella and Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-OPV SIA) Phase II is extended until March 7, 2021.)
The measles and polio vaccination initiative in Central Visayas kicked off last January 29. It targets children age nine to 59 months old.
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.
As of March 1, data from DOH-7 showed that Central Visayas has recorded a 78 percent success rate for children administered with Measles-Rubella and the Bivalent Oral Polio vaccines.
This meant health authorities here still needed to vaccinate 148, 565 children to protect them from measles. There are also 177, 307 more who are yet to receive their Bivalent Oral Polio shots.
In earlier interviews, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of DOH-7, said they needed to post a 95 percent success rate in order to render the vaccination program effective.
Challenges brought about by the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic 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. /bmjo
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