PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, February 15, reiterated his call to have the children immunized in the wake of the Health department's declaration of a measles outbreak in some parts of the country
In a video message uploaded on state-run PTV4, the President told parents that immunization is the best protection against measles, a highly contagious disease that already killed dozens of Filipino children.
"Mga kababayan, dumadami ang kaso ng tigdas at ang komplikasyon nito ay mamatay ka (My countrymen, there is a rising number of people affected by measles, which may cause death as a result of complications)," Duterte said.
"Sa mga anak natin, bakuna lamang ang tanging paraan makaiwas sa sakit na ito. Maraming salamat (Have your children immunized. Immunization is the only solution to protect them from this disease. Thank you)," he added.
On Wednesday, February 13, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the government is already conducting a massive information dissemination and immunization campaign, in a bid to encourage the public to get vaccinated.
The Health department has declared a measles outbreak in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, and Central Visayas.
Filipinos' trust in vaccines has eroded following the controversy over anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, which manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur said would cause severe dengue in inoculated patients who have not contracted the virus.
Measles can cause life-threatening pneumonia and brain inflammation, middle-ear infection, severe diarrhea, and sometimes death.
The highly infectious disease, however, can be prevented through a safe and effective vaccine.
Babies aged 6 to 11 months should receive their first vaccine shot. At 12 to 18 months, they should get a second dose. (SunStar Philippines)