C. Visayas immunization coverage rate drops to 20% for 1st half of 2021

DOH-7 on 'double-time' mode to reach goal

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | October 23,2021 - 03:16 PM
C. Visayas immunization coverage rate drops to 20% for 1st half of 2021

DOH-7 on October 23, 2021, launched its ceremonial Community Catch-Up Immunization activity at a mall in Cebu City to remind the public that region is still far from reaching its target of inoculating children against measles, polio, tetanus, and other vaccine-preventable diseases. | CDN Digital Photo / Morexette Marie Erram

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) is intensifying its immunization drive for children as it posted its lowest inoculation rate so far.

DOH-7 on Saturday, October 23, launched a ceremonial vaccination activity at a mall at the North Reclamation Area (NRA) to remind the community that minors should be inoculated to protect them against infectious diseases such as polio, measles, and tetanus.

Dr. Jaime Bernadas, director of DOH-7, said immunization coverage rate for the first half of 2021 was only at 20 percent, the lowest for Central Visayas so far.

Bernadas said the region’s inoculation drive against vaccine-preventable diseases has been at a “critical level” since late 2020.

“Since 2014 and 2015, we have noted a steady decline of our immunization coverage rate,” said Bernadas.

As a result, he urged parents and concerned sectors to make sure that their children, particularly those in their tender ages, are vaccinated.

“This is the reason we’re doing this vaccination program to remind our parents, barangay officials, and local government partners of the importance of why children should complete their inoculation schedules,” Bernadas said in Cebuano.

Online misinformation

DOH-7’s target immunization coverage rate is at 95 percent annually.

Health experts in Central Visayas blamed rampant misinformation on the internet, particularly on social media, as one of the contributing factors why parents are hesitant to get their kids inoculated.

 

“We cannot stress enough the fact that not everything on the internet is true. It’s full of lies, especially lies relating to vaccination. We are asking our parents to please stop subscribing to unfounded claims on the internet. Vaccination works,” said Bernadas.

Meanwhile, the regional health office added that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic should not be an excuse on why kids cannot be jabbed.

“With children prevented from getting hospitalized, we are also saving our hospitals from being burdened or overwhelmed,” Bernadas stressed.

Fortunately, the DOH-7 has not observed any surge in measles or tetanus among children.

“But let’s not wait for that to happen. We are already battling COVID-19. Vaccination would greatly help our health system, our healthcare workers and spare our children from being hospitalized,” added Bernadas.

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TAGS: Cebu City, DOH-7, Dr. Jaime Bernadas, immunization campaign, measles, Polio

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