Press Release/14 October 2019

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III today led the Synchronized Polio Vaccination in Lanao del Sur and other areas in Mindanao, as part of the Department of Health’s (DOH) “Sabayang Patak kontra Polio.”

Polio is a highly contagious disease transmitted through the fecal-oral route. It is caused by the poliovirus and may result in life-long paralysis and even death. But it is vaccine-preventable. 

The Synchronized Polio Vaccination campaign aims to boost immunization coverage against polio by giving three doses of the oral polio vaccine to all children five years old and below, regardless of their immunization status. Full vaccination against the poliovirus is the best way to prevent the transmission of the disease. 

“We urge all parents and caregivers, health workers, and local government units to protect their children and communities against the poliovirus by participating in the synchronized vaccination in high-risk areas in Mindanao and in NCR,” Secretary Duque said. Parents and caregivers are also encouraged to completely vaccinate their children, following their routine immunization schedule.

Today marked the kick-off for the first round of vaccination in Lanao del Sur, Marawi City, Davao del Sur, and Davao City. The campaign will be expanded to the whole of Mindanao on November 25, 2019, and will be concluded with the last round of vaccination on January 6, 2020. The National Capital Region also began its second round of vaccination today, with its last round scheduled on November 25, 2019.

The national response that has been mounted by the DOH, in close coordination with local government units and national agencies, and with support from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund, began in Manila in August.

“I remind parents and caregivers that aside from immunization, you need to practice good personal hygiene: to wash hands regularly, use toilets, drink safe water, and cook food thoroughly,” the Health Chief concluded.