Mass vaccination program launched

SAN NICOLAS, Ilocos Norte, Sept. 4 – The Department of Health (DOH) has unveiled the Measles Rubella-Oral Polio Vaccine (MR-OPV) mass immunization program here which provides free anti-measles and anti-polio vaccines to children ages five years and below.

Dr. Benito Arca, DOH assistant director for Ilocos region, led the provincial launching rites held at the San Nicolas auditorium last Tuesday.

President Benigno Aquino III earlier led the national launch of the nationwide vaccination drive against measles and polio diseases for the whole month of September.

The massive vaccination program targets to achieve over 95 percent MR and OPV vaccine coverage in all levels in the country.

“To eliminate the measles, all children aging five years old and below must be vaccinated with anti-measles or else they become susceptible and eventually a carrier of the illness,” Arca warned.

Those who have taken the vaccine this month should have two more doses after two months. The anti-measles vaccine becomes booster for those children who already completed their vaccination.

Although the country is already free from polio disease, Arca said that oral anti-polio vaccination is included in the campaign to protect the population from the consequences of importation of wild polio virus.

Those children aging 0 month to five year old are qualified to take the oral polio vaccine. (Freddie G. Lazaro/PIA)