Measles cases in NCR up by 19% due to low vax turnout

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

October 7, 2022, 1:17 pm

<p><em>(PNA photo by Gil Calinga)</em></p>

(PNA photo by Gil Calinga)

MANILA – Measles cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) went up by 19 percent from January to first week of October compared to the same period last year, a health official said Friday.

In a radio interview, Department of Health-Metro Manila Center for Health Development (DOH-MMCHD) Regional Director Gloria Balboa said the region logged 198 cases of measles this year, higher than last year’s 166 cases.

Balboa attributed the rise in cases to the low turnout of measles vaccination.

“Epekto ng pandemya kung saan nagkaroon ng lockdown at paghihigpit sa paglabas ng mga bata noon dahilan rin para hindi makapagbakuna laban sa tigdas at iba pang (This is effect of the pandemic where lockdowns happened and children were restricted to go out so they didn’t get measles vaccination and other) routine immunization vaccines,” she said.

On Thursday, Vaccine Expert Panel chairperson Dr. Nina Glorianni said the country’s coverage for routine immunization is only at 22 to 25 percent for the first half of this year, which is "very low" compared to the 95 percent target set by the DOH.

While measles is common among children under 5 years old, Balboa said adults who were not immunized against the disease could also contract it.

She urged parents to have their children between 9 and 12 months old be immunized against the disease.

She also assured the public that all routine immunization jabs like oral polio vaccines, pentavalent vaccines (Pentahib), inactivated polio vaccines (IPV), hepatitis vaccines, and measles-containing vaccine are proven safe and effective. (PNA)