MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said about 2.3 million children have received jabs for measles and rubella in the first week of its campaign against vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs).
“Ito po ay katumbas ng 22.4 percent ng ating (This is equivalent to 22.4 percent of our) total eligible population for measles and rubella vaccines (MRV),” DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a media briefing.
She also reported that 829,165 children (22.4 percent) have received bivalent oral polio vaccines (OPV) while 385,000 children (27.49 percent) have received their vitamin A supplementation.
The number of target number of children for vaccination was not disclosed.
Nonetheless, the MRV is given to children from 9 months old to 5 years old while the OPV is given to children from zero months old to 5 years old.
“Kasulukuyang nasa meeting po ang aming public health operations team kasama po ang ating mga regional counterparts at iba pong mga opisina para ma-align at ma-fast-track ang (Currently, our public health operations team, our regional counterparts and other offices are in a meeting to align and fast track the) reports through our synchronized and electronic immunization repository,” she said.
She also urged the parents and local government units to join in protecting the children from VPDs which could lead to hospitalization or death if neglected.
On May 2, the DOH officially launched the MRV-OPV supplemental immunization activity or Chikiting Ligtas aims to vaccinate children against measles, rubella, and polio, particularly those who missed out on their routine immunization or were unable to get their vaccines at all due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Latest data from the UNICEF showed that around 67 million children worldwide missed out entirely or partially on routine immunization between 2019 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
It also showed that the Philippines ranks second to the highest number of children with zero doses in East Asia and the Pacific Region and fourth in the world.
In connection to this, the DOH has recorded 225 cases of zero vaccine doses among children from January 1 to March 18, 2023. The figure is equivalent to a 369-percent increase from the same period last year. (PNA)