The Department of Health (DOH) in Region 3 on Monday renewed its call to parents and caregivers to have their children vaccinated against measles, rubella, and polio.
In a Philippine Information Agency report, DOH Region 3 Medical Program Coordinator on Immunization Janet Miclat said that amid the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was equally important to have children protected from vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, rubella, and polio.
“Not having them vaccinated will pose a greater risk to them aside from Covid-19. Having fear to have our children vaccinated will make them unprotected from the escalating cases we are seeing,” she was quoted as saying in the report.
“We cannot prevent the disease if we are unable to vaccinate them,” Miclat said.
“Our campaign is to provide additional doses of protection to our children. They will be vaccinated regardless of immunization status, whether they are previously vaccinated with MR-OPV or not. These vaccines are similar with what is being given in the routine immunization,” she explained.
The target is to vaccinate not lower than 95 percent of the total population of children 9 months-5 years old for measles and rubella; and 0-5 years old for polio.
“We will not do it on a house-to-house basis. We will be using injectable vaccines which is the MR vaccine, so we need to ensure that the required temperature of the vaccines is kept. We know that we have a very warm climate. We will do it in fixed places, following a staggered scheduling, which has been planned with the local government units,” Miclat said.
Also, the DOH assured the public that there were no recorded adverse reactions to the vaccines.
“We do surveillance during and after our vaccination campaigns. We only recorded minor reactions such as pain or redness in the vaccinated area, and low-grade fever. These are temporary and mild, and normal reactions of the body to say that the vaccine is in effect,” Miclat said.
The DOH confirmed a total of 17 polio cases in the country as of February 2020, with the most recent from a one-year-old boy from Cabanatuan City.