Kids Start Receiving
Measles, Polio, Rubella Shots
President Benigno Aquino III leads on Monday in the launching of a nationwide immunization campaign. It seeks to prevent the outbreak of measles, rubella and polio among Filipino children.
The Department of Health (DOH) has allotted the whole month of September to give roughly 11 million children aged 9 months to 6 years protection to prevent measles and rubella.
Some estimated 13 million children up to 5 years old will be given the oral polio vaccine.
Health officials urged parents across the country to bring their children to health centers for the immunization.
In Aklan, Dr. Cornelio Cuachon is urging parents to bring their children for vaccination to the health center nearest their homes on September 1 to 30.
The campaign is a follow-up of the 2011 immunization drive to halt the transmission of highly infectious diseases in the Philippines as indicated by the measles outbreak that started last year.
According to the DOH, the most effective campaign against measles was in 2004 with vaccination coverage which reached 95 percent of the target. From 2005 to 2009, the incidence of measles was only between 0.1 and 16 per million population.
However in 2011, the incidence rose to 68.8 per million population with vaccination coverage at 84 percent.
The oral polio vaccine was added to the campaign to prevent the spread of the polio virus in the Philippines through importation from polio endemic countries.
The DOH said that all children regardless of previous immunization status, either by vaccination or active natural immunity (previously infected with measles), should be given the measles-rubella vaccine. /MP