The Department of Health (DOH) seeks to immunize a total of 463,675 children in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) against measles and rubella in their upcoming month-long vaccination campaign.
Arjohn Gangoso, DOH-12 health education and promotion officer, said Friday the preparations are now underway for the region-wide vaccination program, which is set from Oct. 26 to Nov. 25 in coordination with rural health units.
Gangoso said it will cover infants and children aged nine to 59-months-old in all four provinces and five cities in the region.
“Children who were not yet vaccinated for measles and rubella will get their first dose while those already covered by the previous campaigns will be given booster doses for added protection,” he said.
Some 147,474 eligible children were listed in North Cotabato, 90,508 in South Cotabato, 79,252 in Sultan Kudarat, 57,828 in Sarangani, 58,776 in this city, and 29,837 in Cotabato City.
He said the vaccination campaign in the region will only cover measles and rubella (German measles) while other areas in the country will include polio.
Gangoso said the agency pushed for the conduct of massive measles and rubella vaccination despite the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic to prevent possible outbreaks.
He warned that measles, which is vaccine-preventable, can lead to complicated infections and result in death among those vulnerable.
Unlike the previous campaigns that only lasted two weeks, Gangoso said the agency extended it to a month to avoid crowding in the fixed and temporary vaccination posts and ensure that the health protocols against Covid-19 are properly followed.
The identified fixed posts are health centers, rural health units, barangay health stations, private clinics, and outpatient departments of hospitals, he said. If applicable, he said temporary vaccination posts will be opened in community centers, basketball courts, school, and church grounds.
Gangoso said vaccination teams may also opt to set up posts in subdivision clubhouses, transportation hubs, police checkpoints, and other places of public convergence.
“Our vaccination teams will practice infection prevention and control measures to protect themselves, the children, and their parents,” he told PNA.
He reminded the use of personal protective equipment like face mask and face shield, regular disinfection, and the observance of safe physical distancing. Children will pass through mandatory triaging and screening before they will be vaccinated, he added.
Source: Philippines News Agency