Editorial: Immunization back on track?

IT IS good to know that Davao recorded an immunization rate of 85.9 percent for the first round of the poliovirus vaccine mass immunization of the Department of Health (DOH).

Data from the City Health Office (CHO) showed that in some villages, non-residents took advantage of the mass immunization. This resulted to some villages exceeding the 100 percent immunization coverage.

According to CHO’s consolidated oral polio vaccine (OPV) report from October 14 to 20, the clusters that exceeded the 100 percent target during the Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio are District A cluster, which is consists of villages 1-A to 10-A (107.7 percent) and District C, which consists of villages 21-C to 30-C (102.5 percent) of the first district, as well as Baguio District cluster, which is composed of eight villages (104.4 percent), Calinan District cluster consisting of 19 villages (101.8 percent), and Toril A District, which is composed of 13 villages (104.4 percent).

It is a known fact that since the Dengvaxia scare and vaccination scares following it, there has been a drop in the immunization in the whole country. When measles and dengue cases rose in Davao City, one of the reasons that health officials have pointed out was the low immunization coverage.

Presumably, the lack of immediate access to information on the vaccines being used to immunize children from different diseases can also be a reason why the scare went a bit out of hand.

We celebrate that confidence towards vaccine among those living in Davao City is once again gaining ground due to the efforts of our health officials.

We hope that they will continue with that they are doing and provide more avenues for parents to understand the importance of vaccination. We also look forward that pharmaceuticals and the health sector will be more transparent on information that has to do with vaccines.

The massive polio vaccination does not end here. The second round is scheduled to be on November 25 to December 7, while the final batch will be on January 6 to 18 next year.

According to World Health Organization’s (WHO) assessment, “the risk of international spread from the Philippines to be low.”

“However, the risk of further spread within the Philippines is high due to limited population immunity (coverage of bivalent oral polio vaccine (OPV) and inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) was at 66% and 41% respectively in 2018) and suboptimal AFP (Acute flaccid paralysis) surveillance,” WHO said.

We are hopeful that following the high immunization rate in Davao City, more parents will bring their children to the health centers to have their children vaccinated.

We are also optimistic that if the massive polio vaccination program is successful, the public will become more confident towards vaccines and understand its importance.


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