871,848 children immunized against measles, polio in Region 9

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 15 Oct) – The Department of Health (DOH) has immunized 871,848 children aged zero to five years old here in Region-IX during the month-long mass immunization against measles and polio.

The vaccination was held mainly from Sept. 1 to 30, but was extended until October 3 on orders of Health Undersecretary Eric Tayag during his visit here last Sept. 29.

Dr. Joshua Brillantes, regional head of the DOH’s Local Health Support Division, said that 408,823 of the 871,848 children were immunized against measles while the remaining 463,025 received oral polio vaccines (OPV).

Brillantes said the number of children vaccinated against measles represents 97 percent of the target goal of 422,919; while those who received OPV represents 93 percent of the target.

He said they confronted three problems that prevented them to fully meet the mass immunization’s target goals – children staying in remote areas, people being mobile, and the peace and order situation.

Brillantes said they will focus again on the conduct of regular vaccination against measles and polio since the mass vaccination has ended.

In regular vaccination, Brillantes said children to be administered with OPV should be three months old.

For anti-measles, he said the children will be injected with vaccine twice, first at nine months old and then at one year old.