Press Release/14 March 2019

The Department of Health (DOH) today said it is escalating its measles vaccination activities in the country, this time among schoolchildren from Kindergarten to Grade 6, in anticipation of the summer months when measles is usually on the upswing.

The school-based immunization will employ a selective method, meaning those who already received two doses of the Measles Containing Vaccine (MCV) will not be given anymore.

"We are targeting to vaccinate our schoolchildren at this time before school closes on April 5, since we are almost finished vaccinating in our health centers. So far, our immunization accomplishment may be attributed to the zealousness of the health workers in trying to stem the upsurge in measles cases," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III declared.

 In fact, even the population who are considered mobile or informal settlers because they frequently transfer from one residence to another were also vaccinated. In other regions where there is a sustained and increasing rate of transmission, the health workers vaccinated all eligible children (six to 59 months old) regardless of immunization status.  

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It is transferred from person-to-person by sneezing, coughing, and close personal contact. Its signs and symptoms include cough, runny nose, red eyes/conjunctivitis, fever, skin rashes lasting for more than 3 days.

The disease’s complications included diarrhea, encephalitis (swelling of the brain), pneumonia (infection of the lungs) which may lead to death.

“We continue to appeal to mothers and caregivers of children in Kinder to Grade 6 to have them vaccinated against measles, a tried and tested vaccine. Let us give our children a fighting chance to have a bright future,” Secretary Duque concluded.