Measles, polio vaccination drive intensified

LAOAG CITY, September 25 – Health workers are going house-to-house to achieve full immunization of children against measles rubella and polio in Region 1 as the end of the state-sponsored mass vaccination draws near.

Dr. Myrna Cabotaje, Department of Health director for Ilocos, said on Tuesday household-level system is part of their rapid coverage assessment (RCA) to ensure that all children aged 59 months old and below are immunized with free anti–measles and anti-polio vaccines.

“Those children qualified to take the anti-measles vaccine has a minimum age of nine months up to 59 months while those children intended to take the anti-polio oral vaccine is zero month to 59 months old,” Cabatoje said in a press conference.
In Region 1, the DOH targets to immunize 574,183 children againstg measles and 674,041 children against polio. Going into the fourth week of the month-long campaign, the region’s accomplishment rate for MR is 65.75% while for OPV is 63.16%.

For Ilocos Norte, 68,023 children are up for measles vaccination while 79,854 children for polio vaccine. As of September 19, the province’s vaccination rate was pegged at 55.78 perccent for measles and 53.03 percent for OPV.

Cabotaje called all stakeholders particularly the local media to take part in the campaign by encouraging the parents to bring their children to the health centers or vaccination posts for immunization.

“With the help of our stakeholders, I’m optimistic that we would attain at least 95 percent coverage for the region by the end of September,” she said.

She said the mass immunization aims to halt the measles transmission in provinces and cities to protect the population from the possible occurrence of measles outbreak and from the importation of polio virus.

“The MR – OPV massive immunization campaign is a renewed commitment of the national government for the elimination of measles and to maintain a polio-free status in the country,” she said. (MCA/FGL,PIA-1,Ilocos Norte)