DOH to conduct nationwide measles campaign beginning October 26

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 21, 2020   •   325

The Department of Health (DOH) will conduct a nationwide measles and polio supplemental immunization campaign starting October 26.

DOH Secretary Secretary Francisco Duque said there is still a need to prevent possible measles outbreak especially while the country is facing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

As of August 2020, there are around 3,500 reported measles cases with 36 deaths. Most of the cases are among children under five years old.

The nationwide Measles Rubella-Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization campaign will be rolled out in two phases. The DOH will be conducting the campaign for children under five years old which is around 9.4 million children for the measles-rubella vaccine and 6.9 million children for the oral polio vaccine.

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a high-quality immunization campaign is urgently needed to stop measles transmission and possible outbreaks. We encourage parents and caregivers to have their children immunized. The measles vaccine is safe, effective and free,” he said.

The DOH’s immunization campaign is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). UNICEF Philippines Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnoro said there have been immunization challenges brought by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are at an especially challenging time when immunization for children is being threatened. All of us must do our part in ensuring children in our family are immunized, and that we provide the correct information to parents, community members and among our peers,” she said.

Meanwhile, Duque also assured that the health care workers who will participate in the campaign have been trained and will be provided with personal protective equipment.

The Phase 1 of the campaign will be conducted from 26 October to 25 November 2020 in Mindanao Regions, CAR, I, II, IV-B and V. Phase 2 will be conducted in February 2021 in Visayas Regions, NCR, III and IV-A. AAC

DOH vaccination activity vs measles, rubella, polio extends until March 7

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Health (DOH) has extended the Measles, Rubella, and Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-OPV SIA) until March 7.

The health department said this is in order to reach the target population of 95%.

As of March 1, 2021, the health department reported that of the national target, 83.7% or 4,269,423 have been vaccinated against Measles and Rubella; while 3,939,677 or 82.4% have been vaccinated against Polio.

The extension of the immunization program aims to vaccinate over 800,000 more children in the target regions in the country.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III encourages parents and legal guardians to have their 0-59 month old children vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases under the MR-OPV SIA.

“To our parents and guardians, let us retain our confidence in vaccines and put our trust in science. These vaccines are proven safe and effective. Let us protect our children and not deny them the opportunity to grow into healthy individuals, free from vaccine-preventable illnesses,” he said. -AAC

Mga pulitiko at non-frontliners na nagpabakuna vs COVID-19, paiimbestigahan – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   March 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Paiimbestigahan ng Department of Health (DOH) ang ilang pulitiko at non-frontliners na umano’y nagpaturok ng Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines sa ilalim ng vaccination roll out ng pamahalaan kahit wala naman sila sa priority list.

Ayon kay Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, prayoridad ng vaccination program ng pamahalaan na mabigyan ng bakuna ang healthcare workers alinsunod sa guidelines na inilabas ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID).

“Hindi ko pa kasi nakikita yung listahan na yan but we will have it investigated kung papaanong nangyari because malinaw naman yung ating prioritization formula na nakalagay po doon mga healthcare workers lang,” ang wika ni Duque.

Nilinaw naman ng pinuno ng DOH na hindi kasali sa polisiya sina vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., testing czar Secretary Vince Dizon at Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos.

Aniya, pinakiusapan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang tatlo na magpabakuna sa layuning pataasin ang kumpiyansa ng publiko sa COVID-19 vaccine.

“’Yang mga ‘yan, pinakiusapan mismo ni Pangulo para lang ang kaniyang pakay, tumaas ang vaccine confidence. So, hindi naman yan parang napakadami, parang tatlong doses lang yan over 600,000,” ng pahayag ni Duque.

Samantala, nagpahayag naman ng suporta ang ilang Metro Manila mayors sa panawagan ng DOH na unahin ang frontline workers sa vaccine rollout at saka na lamang sila magpabakuna kapag natapos na ang vaccination sa mga nasa priority list.

Ayon sa DOH, ang sinomang lumabag sa polisiya ay dapat isangguni sa IATF upang mapatawan ng kaukulang aksyon. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

12,000 doses of CoronaVac arrive in Davao City; vaccination rollout to start on Friday

Maris Federez   •   March 2, 2021

DAVAO CITY, Philippines Aboard the flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), 12,000 doses (placed in 20 boxes) of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccines arrived at the Davao International Airport on Tuesday, March 2, at 6:45 in the morning.

The 12,000 doses of CoronaVac are allocated for the vaccination of more than 8,000 frontliners, most of whom are healthcare workers (HCW).

However, the vaccines were brought to the Department of Health (DOH) Regional office, instead of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) as originally planned.

The DOH said this is because Sinovac vaccines are not as temperature-sensitive as that of Pfizer vaccines which the SPMC storage facility was designed and constructed for.

CoronaVac can be stored in a storage facility with a +2 to +8˚Celsius temperature, as compared to that of Pfizer vaccines which require a -70˚Celsius temperature.

The DOH said they did not encounter any problems in the transportation of the vaccines from the airport to the DOH office.

The health department also reported that the vaccination rollout among frontliners will begin on Friday, with a target of 150 HWCs.

Based on the DOH priority list, 3,000 HCWs from the SPMC will be inoculated first, to be followed by those from private hospitals.

SPMC OIC Dr. Ricardo Audan, Davao City COVID-19 focal person Dr. Ashley Lopez, and DOH Regional Director Annabelle Yumang volunteered to receive the vaccines first to set an example to their colleagues. —/mbmf (with details from Davao Correspondent, Marisol Montaño)

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