MANILA — Only four (4) days left before the Government’s free vaccination program against polio, measles, and rubella, ends, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III is appealing to the public to dispel their fears and avail the program. The program ends on Sunday, 28 February.
The Department of Health (DoH) constantly promotes the Government’s measles-rubella and oral polio vaccination supplemental immunization activity (MR-OPV SIA) and its related activities which are in their second phase despite the public’s apprehension brought about by the past controversies surrounding Sanofi Pasteur’s Dengvaxia.
The health department’s immunization programs against other diseases apart from Covid-19 were launched on 1 February and cover regions in both Luzon and Visayas and are scheduled to run until 28 February.
Reports from the agency revealed that as of 21 February the current year, 73 percent (3,721,186 children) of nationwide targets have been vaccinated against measles and rubella while 72.9 percent (3,483,423 children) have been inoculated against polio.
With these percentages, the target remains above 1.3 million for measles and rubella vaccine and 1.2 million for oral polio vaccine.
With only four days left in the immunization program, health secretary Francisco Duque III is urging parents and guardians of children to dispel their fears and participate in the government’s free immunization program.
“We can decrease the prevalence of cases of measles, rubella, and polio through vaccination. These vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective for over 40 years, and parents need not have second thoughts,” Duque points out.
“Above all, we can prevent unnecessary deaths that are caused by these illnesses. This is why we have tirelessly been urging our mothers to have their children vaccinated,” he adds.
The DoH, together with development partners and concerned local government units, is determined to double its efforts to achieve the 95 percent target coverage to achieve herd immunity from vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, rubella, and polio.
“We call on our local government units, who have better access to their constituents, to pitch in and assure our mothers that our health centers are safe places where they can get their children vaccinated. As long as we are able to comply with our minimum public health standards, as well as the protocols of the health centers, we can be protected from Covid-19,” Duque says. (BG/Headline PH)
Featured image: DOH Sec. Francisco Duque III (second from left) administering a dose of oral polio vaccine to a child, pre-pandemic time. (DOH photo)