DOH to vaccinate 1.4M kids for measles, polio in Bicol

By Connie Calipay

March 27, 2023, 7:59 pm

<p>DOH-Bicol regional office in Legazpi City (<em>PNA file photo)</em></p>

DOH-Bicol regional office in Legazpi City (PNA file photo)

LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Health in Bicol (DOH-5) is urging parents to have their children vaccinated against measles-rubella (MR) and polio in health centers, as part of its upcoming supplemental immunization activity (SIA) in May.

In an interview on Monday, Dr. Desiree Bricenio, immunization program coordinator of DOH-5, said they target to vaccinate a total of 1,364,908 kids or 95 percent of eligible children from zero months to 59 months.

"For the MR, the eligible children are from nine months to 59 months. For Bicol Region, we aim to vaccinate at least 630,549 while for the oral polio vaccine, the eligible population is from zero months to 59 months, and we target at least 734,359 from the six provinces," Bricenio said.

She said the MR-oral polio vaccine (OPV) immunization activity is non-selective.

"The SIA is different from the routine vaccination of a fully immunized child. The SIA will be given regardless of the immunization status of a child, this is an additional booster and protection for the child and to help prevent an outbreak of this disease," she said.

Bricenio said vaccination against MR and polio is free of charge and available in barangay health centers across the region.

“We are encouraging parents who are not sure if their children (had) already (been) given MR and OPV to go to their nearest health centers and avail of the free vaccines or ask their barangay health workers for the scheduled vaccination in their respective areas," she said.

DOH-5 also conducted symposiums and conferences with the local chief executives in the provinces of Masbate, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogona and Albay on March 23-24 to step up the cooperation of the local government units for the upcoming activity.

"We are doing these symposiums and conferences because we don't want a child to feel behind," Bricenio said. (PNA)