A health worker administers measles, rubella, and polio supplemental vaccines to a little girl. | PNA file photo

The Department of Health (DOH) is encouraging parents to bring their children nine to 59 months old to the nearest immunization post to receive measles, rubella, polio supplemental vaccines.

DOH Metro Manila Center for Health Development regional director Dr. Corazon Flores, during the Laging Handa public briefing aired at PTV4 on Saturday, assured that the vaccines are safe.

“Sa atin pong mga nanay, kalusugan po at kaligtasan ng ating mga anak ay atin pong pangalagaan. Ang atin pong bakuna ay ligtas, libre, matagal na po nating ginagamit ito (To our mothers, let us take care of the health of our children. Our vaccines are safe, free and we have been using these for years),” Flores said.

She said the massive vaccination campaign against measles and rubella started on February 1 and will continue until February 28.

Launched last January 29, she said they were able to vaccinate about 30 percent of children in Metro Manila with the help of the local government units.

She said the measles, rubella, and polio diseases mostly hit children, but in some cases, even adults.

Vaccination posts in Metro Manila can be found in health centers while temporary ones are located in schools, basketball courts, or in any other spacious areas.

“Iyon pong measles, ito po’y dahil po sa sakit na dulot ng measles virus at ito po ay nakakahawa, mabilis kumalat at maaari pong ikamatay (The measles, because it is caused by the measles virus is very contagious and may even cause death),” Flores said.

Last year, the cases of measles in the country decreased to 201 as compared to the cases in 2019 with 8,550 when a measles outbreak was declared, she added.

She said the massive immunization campaign is being carried out in Metro Manila to prevent an outbreak.

According to the DOH, there is an estimated 2.4 million children under the age of five who are considered susceptible to measles.

Measles or ‘tigdas’ is one of the most contagious diseases in the world in which about 9 out of 10 people exposed to the measles virus and not immune are likely to contract the disease.

A child may experience high-grade fever, rashes, cough, an eye infection that can lead to complications such as pneumonia, ear infection, blindness, severe diarrhea, and swelling of the brain.

On the other hand, “polio is a potentially debilitating disease that causes fever, neck stiffness, muscle weakness and can eventually lead to life-long paralysis”.

The DOH said if severe enough, both measles and polio diseases can ultimately lead to death.

There is no specific treatment for these illnesses and that the only reliable protection is through vaccination, the DOH said. (PNA)


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