DOH to public: Get your kids vaccinated for measles, polio

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    THE Department of Health (DOH) yesterday appealed to parents and caregivers to go to local health centers and avail of free measles, rubella, and polio vaccines for their children beginning today, Monday.

    “The DOH is encouraging mothers and caregivers to bring their infants and children 5 years and below to the nearest health center, barangay health stations, or in designated temporary vaccination posts in their locality,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

    He said the public’s participation is vital if the country is to prevent a new outbreak by 2021 aside from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

    “This is in order to prevent a measles outbreak in the coming months, and to end the currently ongoing poliovirus transmission and re-circulation in the country,” Duque stressed.

    The DOH earlier said it is projecting a measles outbreak next year due to the low coverage of their routine immunization campaign at only 67 percent.

    Polio reemerged in the Philippines in 2019 after a 19-year absence, and has since resulted to 17 confirmed cases in the country.

    The DOH said Phase 1 of the Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity will be conducted from October 26 to November 25 in Mindanao, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region, MIMAROPA, and Bicol Region.

    Infants and children aged 9-59 months are set to be provided with the Measles-Rubella vaccine while the bivalent Oral Polio vaccine shall be made available for those aged 0-59 months.

    Phase 2 will be conducted in February 2021 in the Visayas, National Capital Region, Central Luzon, and CALABARZON.

    “These vaccines versus polio, measles, and rubella are proven safe and effective, and has been used for over 40 years already,” said Duque.