DUMAGUETE CITY – Negros Oriental province had an 80-percent accomplishment in its Measles, Rubella and Oral Polio Vaccine (MR-OPV) Supplemental Immunization Activity (SIA), which concluded recently.
Health authorities here said it was a noteworthy feat, considering that at the onset of the activity, people were afraid to have their children vaccinated.
“I think we are the second province in the region (Central Visayas) that achieved its target,” Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion said in a virtual press briefing Monday afternoon.
The month-long second phase of the immunization in Negros Oriental in February was extended following a low turnout.
Most parents initially resisted or were reluctant to have their children immunized, believing the jabs were for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
The program ended on March 19, although the total number of children who received the vaccines is still being consolidated. The province has set a target of 142,855 children below five years old for the MR-OPV immunization.
“Trust is important to avoid diseases that can be prevented by a vaccine given for free by the government,” Estacion said in the vernacular, thanking parents and families who trust them.
Dr. Socrates Villamor, Department of Health-Negros Oriental chief, said in an interview on Tuesday that this year’s accomplishment rate is remarkable as previous campaigns gained just about 60 percent because of the Dengvaxia scare.
“This is considered a high accomplishment even if we failed to reach the national government target of 95 percent,” he said.
Villamor is hoping that Negros Oriental will remain a measles-free province as it has been in 2020. (PNA)