Former Health Undersecretary Enrique Domingo administers the ceremonial measles vaccination to an elementary school student of Sta. Rosa Elementary School Central III during the launching of the ‘Back to Bakuna: School-Based Immunization Program’ on July 25, 2019 (Photo from Glen Ramos/ DOH Region IV-A)
The Department of Health (DOH) will start a measles vaccination program on Oct. 26 and called on parents to enroll their children to prevent a measles outbreak in 2021.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said vaccination numbers have declined amid the Covid-19 pandemic due to movement restrictions.
Vergeire also noted the increase in opposition to vaccinations.
“[T]ayo ay nagbibigay ng warning na baka magkaroon ng outbreak ng measles para sa kabataan this coming 2021,” she said in a Laging Handa briefing.
“Pero ang kagawaran naman po ay mayroon na po tayong supplemental immunization na gagawin. Ito nga pong October 26 mag-u-umpisa na tayo sa mga piling lugar at tuluy-tuloy na ho ito hanggang sa isang taon,” she added.
Citing DOH data, Vergeire said an estimated 2.4 million children were vulnerable to measles.
She warned that measles could cause death.
“Maaring magkapulmonya ang bata, maaring magkaroon ng walang patid na pagtatae, maaari din pong magkaroon ng mga ear infections. Kaya kapag ganito po, atin pong pinapaalalahanan ang mga nanay dahil maari pong magkaroon ng ganitong kumplikasyon at maaring mag-lead sa pagkamatay ng mga bata,” she said.
The Philippines recorded a measles outbreak in 2019, which was attributed to low vaccination numbers allegedly caused by the Dengvaxia controversy. John Ezekiel J. Hirro