The Provincial Health Office (PHO) is set to conduct a province-wide vaccine supplemental immunization activity against measles, rubella, and poliomyelitis in November.
Dr. Faye Erika Labrador, acting chief of the Provincial Health Office (PHO), said in a statement through the Provincial Information Office (PIO) this week said they are targeting to vaccinate children between zero to 59 months or not more than five years old, in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH), to prevent the possible outbreak of measles, rubella, and polio.
She said the activity will kick off in towns in southern Palawan on November 12 to 20 and November 23 to 27 in the northern part.
Labrador also assured parents that the vaccines are safe for the consumption of their children.
“Hindi natin ito dapat na katakutan bagkus ito ay makatutulong sa ating mga anak na maproteksiyunan sila laban sa measles, rubella at sa polio. Ito pong ating supplemental immunization campaign ay ang layunin ay para mapuksa na natin ang measles, rubella at ang polio,” she said.
“Kailangan hindi po tayo matakot kasi ang mga vaccines na ginagamit dito ay safe naman at saka ang mga mag-i-immunize nito ay mga trained natin na mga health workers. Hindi sila dapat matakot,” Labrador added.
Labrador assured that all health protocols in connection with COVID-19 will be strictly implemented during the immunization activity.
Previously, Dr. Mathew Medrano, DOH MIMAROPA Family Health Cluster head said that the vaccination activity is one of the initiatives of the DOH in anticipation of a possible outbreak in 2021.
He said that all local government units have their own sicksites intended for the conduct of the vaccination.
“Ang supplemental vaccination ay ginagawa bilang dagdag proteksyon sa mga bata na wala pang limang taon. Mayron din pong mga sicksites ang mga LGU para doon po pupunta ang mga magpapabakuna,” he said.
In 2019, the DOH vaccinated around 92 percent of the total target population. However, the region recorded an outbreak with more than 2,000 cases of measles which was considered as high risk.
He said, around 280 cases of measles have been recorded in the region as of October this year.
“Considered talaga na high risk ang MIMAROPA at ang buong Pilipinas dahil mababa ang coverage natin sa mga nababakunahan natin. Kung maalala ninyo last year at naging maganda naman ang kinalabasan dahil we were able to vaccinate around 92 percent ng target population natin,” he said.
For 2018, he said 187 measles cases had been recorded. But in 2019, the figure rose to over 2,000 which caused an outbreak.
As of October this year, 280 cases of measles have already been recorded, which is already higher than in 2018.
Medrano also added that based on a study, there will be a possible outbreak if the supplemental vaccination will not saturate the target population.
“Kailangan mapataas ang coverage ng bakuna natin ngayon para walang outbreak next year at ‘yon ang goal natin. Nakikita natin na every two years after ng vaccination activity at hindi ganon kaganda ang naging pagbabakuna ng mga nakaraang taon ay nage-expect po tayo ng outbreak kung sakaling hindi mapipigilan,” he said.
According to Medrano, MIMAROPA remained free from the polio disease.