DOH-Ilocos launches monthlong anti-polio, anti-measles vaccines for toddlers

DOH-Ilocos launches monthlong anti-polio, anti-measles vaccines for toddlers

MANILA — The Department of Health-Ilocos Region on Saturday launched its Measles-Rubella and bivalent Oral Poliovirus Vaccine Supplementary Immunization Activities (MR-bOPV SIA) in Sto. Tomas, La Union.

Regional Director Paula Paz M. Sydiongco said there is an urgent need for the immediate conduct of the activity to increase immunization coverage of at least 95% in children aged 0-59 months old.

“We have to take every opportunity to increase community engagement and raise awareness on the importance of the MR-OPV SIA immunization and dispel any myths or misconceptions about the vaccine.”

“These vaccines have prevented child deaths worldwide, and we have to have to sustain the momentum created by expanded routine immunization (RI) coverage, catch-up supplementary immunization activities (SIAs), and progress towards polio elimination, in our efforts to eliminate measles in the region including the strong political commitment by our local government units towards the elimination of the disease.”

As of April 15, 2023, The Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) recorded a total of 44 suspected MR cases from January 1 – April 15, 2023, which is 266% higher than the number of cases reported in the same period last year with 12 cases.

The age of cases ranged from less than 1 year to 53 years old. The most affected age group was less than 1 year old with 17 (38.6%) cases and the majority of the cases were females aged 1-4 with 24 (54.5%) cases.

The province with the most number of suspected MR cases is La Union with 17 followed by Pangasinan – 11, Ilocos Sur – 9, and Ilocos Norte with 3. Dagupan City has 4 recorded cases.

The month-long immunization activity from May 1-30 will be targeting a total of 431,162 children aged 9-59 months old for MR vaccination and 503,968 children for OPV in the Ilocos Region.

Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccine will be given to 9-59 months old children and the Oral Polio vaccine (OPV) for children 0-59 months old. (Amado Inigo/MTVN)

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