The Department of Health (DOH) reports that as of 21 February 2021, 73% or 3,721,186 of nationwide targets have been vaccinated against measles and rubella, while 72.9% or 3,483,423 against polio as part of the second phase of the Measles-Rubella and Oral Polio Vaccination Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-OPV SIA). The said immunization program launched its activity last 1 February 2021, covering regions in both Luzon and Visayas and scheduled to run until 28 February 2021.

In Luzon, the measles-rubella vaccination program in the National Capital Region has covered 71.3% or 726,006 children aged 9-59 month-old. While Regions III and IV-A have vaccinated 826,870 (85.4%) and 913,822 (70.2%) children aged 9-59 mos., respectively. For the polio vaccination on the other hand, 964,249 (85.1%) children aged 0-59 mos. have been vaccinated in Region III, while 1,069,791 (70.2%) children have been vaccinated in Region IV-A.

In Visayas, 516,748 (78.2%) children in Region VI, 422,104 (60.9%) children in Region VII, and 315,636 (68.8%) children in Region VIII have been vaccinated against measles and rubella. While 588,197 (76.4%) children in Region VI, 497,067 (60.9%) children in Region VII, and 364,119 (68.0%) children in Region VIII have been inoculated against polio.

As of February 21, the target number of children left to be vaccinated remains above 1.3 million for measles and rubella vaccine and 1.2 million for oral polio vaccine. With only four days left in the immunization program as of today, the DOH, together with development partners and concerned Local Government Units, is immensely determined to double down on efforts to achieve the 95% target coverage to achieve herd immunity from vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, rubella and polio.

“We call on our local government units, who have better access to their constituents, to pitch in and assure our mothers that our health centers are safe places where they can get their children vaccinated. As long as we are able to comply with our minimum public health standards, as well as the protocols of the health centers, we can be protected from COVID-19,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said.

The DOH likewise urges all parents and guardians of children to participate in the free immunization program. “We can decrease the prevalence of cases of measles, rubella and polio through vaccination. These vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective for over 40 years, and parents need not have second thoughts. Above all, we can prevent unnecessary deaths that are caused by these illnesses. This is why we have tirelessly been urging our mothers to have their children vaccinated,” Sec. Duque assured.