The Department of Health (DOH), together with the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, the Ilocos Center for Health Development, and the Local Government Unit (LGU) of La Union, today launched the nationwide Measles, Rubella, and Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-OPV SIA) in San Fernando, La Union.

 

The DOH, together with partners agencies World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), will implement a nationwide MR-OPV SIA in two phases in order to prevent a measles outbreak in the coming months, and to end the currently ongoing poliovirus transmission and re-circulation in the country.

 

Phase 1 will be conducted from 26 October to 25 November 2020 in Mindanao Regions, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region, MIMAROPA Region, and Bicol Region.

 

Phase 2, on the other hand, will be conducted in February 2021 in Visayas Regions, National Capital Region, Central Luzon Region, and CALABARZON Region. The campaign will target to vaccinate at least 95% of infants and children aged 9-59 months for the Measles-Rubella vaccine and bivalent Oral Polio vaccine for those aged 0-59 months.

 

“Ang mundo ay hindi handa para sa COVID-19, pero handa tayo para labanan ang polio, rubella at tigdas. Matagal na nating alam na ang mga sakit na ito ay maaaring magdulot ng matitinding kumplikasyon, at kamatayan. Tanging pagbabakuna lamang ang maaaring magbigay proteksyon sa ating mga anak laban sa mga nakakahawang sakit na ito. Ang mga bakuna sa polyo, tigdas at rubella ay ligtas at epektibo – ginagamit na natin ang mga ito sa loob ng apatnapung taon,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said during his keynote speech, emphasizing that the measles, rubella and polio vaccines are safe, effective and free.

 

The DOH is encouraging mothers and caregivers to bring their infants and children 5 years and below to the nearest Health Center, Barangay Health Stations, or in designated temporary vaccination posts in their locality starting this coming Monday.

 

Mahalaga na mabigyan ng mga karagdagang dose ng bakunang MR at OPV ang inyong mga anak. Maaari kayong makipag-ugnayan o magtanong sa inyong mga lokal na opisyal o sa mga health worker / barangay health worker para sa detalye ng MR-OPV SIA,” the Health Secretary urged the public.

 

The Department is urging all health workers to work hand-in-hand with the local officials and the community in the conduct of the campaign and in ensuring that no child is left unvaccinated, exerting extra effort to look for children who were never vaccinated or with incomplete doses.

 

Sa kabila ng mga hamon sa Kagawaran ng Kalusugan, lalo na sa panahon ng pandemya, naninindigan ang Kagawaran upang matugunan at maihatid ang serbisyong ito sa mamamayang Pilipino. We hope our immunization drives will be welcomed by a well-informed public to save more children from preventable disability and death,” the Health Chief concluded.