Cebu City logs 84-85 percent vax rate versus measles-rubella, polio
CEBU CITY, Philippines — After an extended mass immunization campaign from May to June 2023, Cebu City has marked around 85-percent vaccination rate against measles-rubella and poliomyelitis.
In a letter in response to the inquiry of the Cebu City Council, Cebu City Health Officer Daisy Villa stated that the city administered oral polio vaccines (OPV) to 84,066 children, or 85.61 percent of its target population for vaccination and that 70,646 children, or 84.34 percent of the intended number of eligible children, received measles/rubella vaccinations.
The city aims to vaccinate a total of 83,767 children ages nine to 59 months for measles-rubella vaccination and 98,198 children ages zero to 59 months for OPV vaccinations.
However, as of June 15, the city has 956 deferals and 614 refusals for measles-rubella vaccination, and 491 deferrals and 484 refusals for OPV.
Together with the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH 7), the City Health Office (CHO) launched the mass immunization campaign during the entire May. However, with the lag in vaccination turn out, the campaign was extended until June 15.
Challenges on immunization
Villa said the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenge to their aim of herd immunity against these diseases.
“After over two years of immunization backsliding caused by COVID-19 pandemic disruptions, we must catch up, restore, and strengthen immunization services to reach millions of people missing out on the life-saving benefits of vaccines and stop outbreaks from accelerating,” she said.
To implement the mass immunization campaign, Villa said house-to-house catch up immunization was done, with vaccination teams assigned to five sitios per day for the missed eligible population.
The CHO appeals to parents to have their children vaccinated against these vaccine-preventable diseases.
“Vaccines have helped keep people healthy for over two centuries. Families and communities have entrusted vaccines to protect all ages against many diseases,” she said.
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