Polio vaccine campaign reaches 95% of target kids

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    THE recently-concluded synchronized polio vaccination campaign in parts of Mindanao and Metro Manila was declared a success by the Department of Health yesterday.

    The DOH said the polio immunization drive reached over 95 percent of the target children aged 5 years and under during the two-week activity that ended last Sunday.

    “Still subject to validation (but) we reached 95.4 percent. So, that is a pretty good coverage. We have reached our target,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

    In particular, the health chief said the DOH was able to vaccinate 96 percent of 1.2 million children in the National Capital Region and 93.6 percent of the 700,000 targeted children in Lanao del Sur, Marawi City, Davao del Sur, and Davao City.

    The campaign is set to be expanded to the whole of Mindanao on November 25 and will be concluded with the last round of vaccination on January 6, 2020. Metro Manila will have its last round of vaccination on November 25, 2019.

    Last Monday, the DOH reported that a third case polio involving a four-year-old girl from Datu Piang in Maguindanao has been confirmed. Only last month, the DOH reported two confirmed cases of polio in the country, a 3 year-old girl from Lanao Del Sur and a 5 year-old boy from Laguna, which came as a surprise because the Philippines had been declared polio free since 2000.