Manila Health Department finishes over 80% measles vaccination in 9 days

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 12, 2021   •   325

MANILA, Philippines—The Manila Health Department (MHD) successfully finished over 81.6% of the Measles-Rubella Supplemental Immunization Activity in the City of Manila.

MHD began the vaccination activity on February 1 and based on the latest report, 14,936 children in the city were vaccinated in a span of 9 days.

Manila City Health Officer Dr. Arnold Pangan said the MHD aims to complete the program before the city begins its vaccine rollout for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“We targeted na matapos talaga agad itong measles vaccination para mas makapaghanda rin ang Manila Health Department sa oras na magsimula na tayo sa mass COVID-19 vaccination dito sa Manila,” he said.

He added that the measles vaccination is also helpful for medical frontliners to prepare and familiarize themselves with the city’s vaccination process.

The Manila Public Information Office (MPIO) said the program to vaccinate children against measles is implemented nationwide through coordination between the Department of Health (DOH), World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, RELIEF International, Healthy Philippines, and local government units across the country.

Dr. Pangan further stated that the MHD is ready to vaccinate the remaining 25,890 children in the city by next week. 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

Phase 2 of measles, rubella and oral polio vaccination campaign begins Feb.1—DOH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The phase 2 of the nationwide Measles Rubella and Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-OPV SIA) began on Monday (February 1), according to the Department of Health (DOH).

The DOH, all local government units (LGUs), and other partners of the vaccination campaign will conduct Phase 2 in the Visayas Regions, National Capital Region, Central Luzon and CALABARZON.

The health department, in a statement, said Phase 2 aims to vaccinate 5.1 million 9-59 months old children for the Measles Rubella (MR) vaccine and 4.8 million children 0-59 months old for Oral Polio vaccine (OPV).

The DOH also reported that aside from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the country is also facing polio, and measles outbreak.

World Health Organization – Philippines Representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe assured that the WHO will assist the health department and local government units to ensure that every child in the Philippines is vaccinated.

“We can only halt an impending measles outbreak and stop the spread of polio if we vaccinate every eligible child. This is challenging but is necessary for the protection of our children,” Abeyashinghe said. AAC

DOH warns of possible measles outbreak in 2021

Robie de Guzman   •   October 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Amid the fight against the novel coronavirus disease, the Department of Health (DOH) said it is also preparing for a possible measles outbreak next year.

According to DOH National Immunization Program Manager Dr. Maria Wilda Silva, they are seeing a massive outbreak of measles in 2021 due to low public response to the agency’s immunization campaign.

Silva said the DOH vaccination program only reached around 67 percent, and that those who have missed the immunization would be susceptible to the measles infection.

There is also an ongoing recirculation of polio virus in communities.

She said an estimated 2.4 million children under the age of five are facing risk of infection from measles and polio.

Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world. It can cause high-grade fever, rashes, cough, eye infection and can lead to complications such as pneumonia, ear infection, blindness, severe diarrhea, and swelling of the brain.

Polio, on the other hand, is a potentially debilitating disease that causes fever, neck stiffness, muscle weakness and can eventually lead to lifelong paralysis.

If severe enough, both diseases can ultimately lead to death.

The DOH said there is no specific treatment for these illnesses and that the only reliable protection is through vaccination.

To avert a possible outbreak, the department said it will roll out a supplemental immunization activity against measles, rubella, and polio starting Oct. 26.

Under the immunization program, children aged 9 to 59 months old will be given measles-rubella vaccine while 0 to 59 months old will be provided with oral polio vaccine.

The health department said the program will be rolled out in two phases – phase 1 will be conducted from Oct. 26 to Nov. 25 in Mindanao, Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley Region, MIMAROPA Region, and Bicol Region; while phase 2 will be held in February 2021 in Visayas, National Capital Region, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon.

The DOH said the vaccination activity will be conducted in a modified site with health workers donning personal protective equipment due to the continuing threat of COVID-19.

Parents and caregivers are urged to have their children immunized to protect them from measles, polio, and rubella. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)


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