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    ‘Vaccination a privilege more than a requirement,’ says DOH Usec


    by Jasper Marie O. Rucat

    CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–Vaccination is a privilege more than a requirement, said Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Dr. Kenneth Ronquillo while urging parents to take advantage of the month-long supplementary measles, rubella, and polio immunization activity of the department nationwide.

    In the Talakayan sa PIA: Konsultayo series, May 3, at SM CDO City Uptown, Ronquillo shared that the cases of children affected by these three diseases are alarming, which is why DOH has pushed for a supplemental immunization activity apart from the regular immunization in health centers.

    According to UNICEF, about three million kids have not yet been vaccinated for these types of vaccines, he said. In the Philippines, from 2019 to 2022, around 28,362 cases of measles were found, and 355 people died due to complications.

    Based on the data from DOH, during COVID time, they tallied about 4,815 measles cases and 38 deaths. For Rubella, about 455 cases and one death were recorded.

    For polio, although the Philippines has been polio-free since 2013, Dr. Ronquillo said they have discovered three polio-compatible cases over the past few years.

    “These are alarming numbers na kailangan natin matugunan ngayon (that we need to address now), so we are here for the supplemental activity,” he said.

    Of the kids 0-59 months old, DOH is targeting about 95% of these kids, particularly 9-59 months old for measles and rubella and 0-59 months old for polio, but essentially the target is to cover 95% of the total population.

    “We are talking about 11 million kids to be vaccinated,” the Usec said. In Region 10, about 528,000 kids are targeted for these types of vaccines. The government is assuring parents that the vaccines are reliable and safe to use.

    “Alam mo itong vaccines na ito, four decades na natin ginagamit. Apat na dekada (You know these vaccines have been used for over four decades. Four decades already). It has been proven that the only way to prevent these diseases is through these types of vaccinations. So we should be very confident in using these vaccines,” he said.

    The month-long vaccination is facilitated at various partner malls like SM CDO City Uptown, SM CDO Downtown Premier, and Robinsons Mall in Cagayan de Oro City.

    They are open Mondays to Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (JMOR/PIA-10)

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