DOH extends measles, rubella, polio vax drive

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    THE Department of Health (DOH) has extended its Measles, Rubella, and Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-OPV SIA) until March 7.

    In a statement, the DOH said it will continue to reach out to infants and children aged 9-59 months old for the MR vaccines, and those aged 0-59 months old for the OPV.

    “With the extension of the immunization program and with more than 800,000 kids left unvaccinated in the target regions, the DOH continues to encourage all parents and legal guardians to have their children vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

    “Let us protect our children and not deny them the opportunity to grow into healthy individuals, free from vaccine-preventable illnesses,” he added.

    Duque said the extension became necessary after the month-long MR-OPV SIA last February failed to reach the target population of 95 percent.

    As of March 1, the DOH said the MR vaccine drive has only reached 83.7 percent or 4,269,423 out of the 5,100,787 target children.

    The MR vaccination drive covers the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and Eastern Visayas.

    On the other hand, there were 3,939,677 of the 4,778,919 target children or 82.4 percent reached by the OPV.

    The OPV targets children from Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and Eastern Visayas.

    “We call on our local government units to continue strengthening our vaccination programs and ensure maximum coverage under the MR-OPV SIA campaign,” Duque said.