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MANILA, Philippines – Makati City exceeded its target for the second round of catch-up polio vaccination following the September announcement of a polio outbreak in the country.
According to Department of Health (DOH) data, 69,739 kids aged 0 to 59 months from Makati City received the oral polio vaccine (OPV) from November 25 to December 8.
This figure marks the highest coverage rate among 16 cities and a lone municipality in Metro Manila, which itself achieved more than 100% of the vaccination target. The National Capital Region had 1,404,517 children receiving the OPV, or 109.99% of the target. (READ: ‘Polio vaccine is very safe,’ DOH reminds public amid epidemic)
Makati City also posted the highest coverage in the region during the first round of the OPV vaccination drive from October 14 to 27.
“Community involvement is very important to prevent these diseases. Residents, students, and employees may report dirty households, campuses, business establishments, and offices to their respective barangays for proper action,” said Makati City Mayor Abby Binay.
She added that parents and school administrators must keep surroundings clean to prevent kids from getting communicable diseases.
The DOH kicked off the first round of the catch-up vaccination campaign on October 14. The campaign was also launched that day in Lanao del Sur, Marawi City, Davao City, and Davao del Sur in Mindanao.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that in the first round the DOH and local government units met the target, covering 95.4% or roughly 1.7 million of the 1.8 million kids aged 5 below who were eyed to receive OPV.
In Metro Manila, 96% or around 1.1 million out of of 1.2 million kids aged 5 and below were vaccinated, while in Mindanao 93.6% or around 650,00 out of of 700,000 kids received OPV.
The second round, which included the entire island of Mindanao, ran from November 25 to December 8.
The campaign involved door-to-door vaccination, as well as ensured that barangay health units and municipal health centers had enough supply of the polio vaccine, which came from Unicef. The World Healh Organization provided logistical support.
So far, there are 8 confirmed cases of polio in the Philippines. The first case, found in a child from Lanao del Sur, prompted the health department to declare a polio outbreak on September 19.
Aside from the 8 cases, the agency also found vaccine-derived poliovirus in environmental samples in the City of Manila and in Davao City.
Polio or poliomyelitis is a highly contagious but vaccine-preventable disease caused by poliovirus invading the nervous system. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiff neck, and sudden onset of floppy arms or legs. In severe cases, it can lead to permanent paralysis or even death.
Children below 5 years old are most vulnerable to the disease.
Vaccination is very important to combat the disease, the DOH has repeatedly said.
The health department found that polio vaccination for children below 5 years old dropped to less than 95% in 2018. The average national polio vaccination stands at about 66% to 68%.
Other vaccines too
Makati City Mayor Abby Binay urged parents to have their children vaccinated against other vaccine-preventable diseases.
Makati health department chief Bernard See said newborns must receive the following vaccines within the first year of birth:
- BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) vaccine
- Hepatitis B vaccine, Pentavalent vaccine
- PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine)
- Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type B) vaccine
- MR (Measles and Rubella) vaccine
- MMR (Measles, Mumps and, Rubella) vaccine
Below is an immunization card from the DOH, detailing when a child should get a particular vaccine:
This vaccination schedule is to be followed by school-based immunization against measles, rubella, tetanus, diptheria, and cervical cancer for female students. – Rappler.com