DOH seeks supports of ‘Patak’ Polio immunization program from all

The Department of Health (DOH) reminded mothers and caregivers of children five (5) years old and below that they can still bring their child to the nearest health center for the ‘patak’ polio immunization.

The first round of the Synchronized Polio Vaccination was conducted last August this year but only 54 percent of the target served.

DOH Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire of the Public Health Services Team declared it as unacceptable and far below the required 95 percent.

To evaluate the implementation of this activity and determine reasons for the dismal coverage, the DOH went back to the barangays and conducted a Rapid Coverage Assessment.

Results from the assessment identified several factors why some eligible children were unvaccinated during the vaccination activity.

The rapid assessment showed that most of the parents or caregivers (41%) with unvaccinated children reasoned that they, or the child, were not around during the vaccination schedule.

Other factors stated by parents and caregivers are: unawareness of the vaccination activity; they were not around during the schedule and caregivers could not make the decision; their children were sick; and that they already had their children vaccinated by a private doctor. Some parents and caregivers also stated their lack of trust in barangay health workers and lack of trust in the vaccine.

“There is no cure for polio. It can only be prevented with three doses of the polio vaccine that are safe and effective,” Assistant Secretary Vergeire emphasized, adding that the DOH is strongly urging mothers and caregivers to bring their child five years old and below to the nearest health center for immunization.

“Vaccination is the best way to protect your child against vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio, measles, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and tuberculosis, among others,” the Assistant Secretary concluded. (Source: DOH)