Statement | March 25, 2024

The DOH thanks the media for its timely coverage on the rise in Pertussis (Whooping Cough; Filipino: Ubong Dalahit/Tusperina) and Measles (Filipino: Tigdas) cases in the country. Accurate and responsible reporting has drawn attention to the need to catch up with vaccination after the pandemic. After all, these are vaccine preventable diseases.

Our Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Units (RESUs) at the DOH Centers for Health Development are in touch with local government units. We expect updated Pertussis and Measles data to be available in the next few days, and that will guide the nationwide response.

The DOH Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, in coordination with the Procurement Service, is expecting additional vaccine doses.

As of today, we see 3 million more ‘pentavalent’ vaccine doses arriving at the soonest possible time. These pentavalent vaccines protect not only against Pertussis, but also against Diphtheria, Tetanus, Hepatitis B, and Hemophilus influenza type B.

Meanwhile, the DOH has also ordered at least 5 million more Measles-Rubella vaccine doses, further to what is available on hand. Of this quantity, Secretary Teodoro J. Herbosa has instructed to fast-track the immediate dispatch of 1 million doses that may be delivered ASAP.

These will add to the more than 64,400 and 2.6 million doses of pentavalent and Measles-Rubella vaccines, respectively, already being distributed by DOH and used to protect our children.

On orders of President Marcos, Secretary Herbosa and a team of DOH officials and staff are in the field at the moment coordinating with local Public Health Emergency Operations Centers (PHEOCs). We ask for the public’s patience with information releases for security reasons and to minimize disruption while the outbreak response is carried out.

The public may carry on with daily activities. Face mask use continues to be voluntary but highly encouraged. Cover coughs (cough into your elbow), and choose well-ventilated areas. The best solution is vaccination. Should there be any symptoms or health concerns, please consult your doctor or nearest health center.