Manila vows to be patient in anti-polio drive

MANILA Amid reports that many parents refuse to have their children vaccinated despite outbreaks, the city government of Manila said that it will remain persistent in its anti-polio campaign.

Manila Health Department (MHD) chief, Dr. Arnold Pangan reported on Tuesday that the total number of children who have availed of the local government's polio immunization program remains at 55 percent.

"To intensify our information drive, we will seek the assistance of key government officials as well as celebrities to help us encourage parents to have their children vaccinated," Pangan said in a statement.

"In addition, the house-to-house campaign waged by our MHD personnel will remain persistent," he added.

Pangan's remark was in response to the statement of Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in a television interview saying that "about 11 percent" of mothers refused to have their children vaccinated because they believe that they don't need it."

She said since 2016, it was reported that a lot of mothers refuse to have their children vaccinated.

"We don't know why; we have asked some (of them). Of course, there would be this controversy so others wouldn't believe in (the effectiveness) of these vaccines," she added.

The Manila City government, in partnership with the DOH, launched a mass polio immunization program on Aug. 19 to intensify efforts to prevent the disease.

On Sept. 19, the DOH declared a polio outbreak after two cases of polio have been reported. The Philippines was declared polio-free since 2000, but was recently considered at "high-risk" due to low vaccination. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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