Measles supplemental immunization activity launched

ZAMBOANGA. The City Health Office, in partnership with the Department of Health, launched Monday, October 26, the Measles Rubella Supplemental Immunization Activity with a goal to immunize 81,290 children nine to 59 months old. A photo handout shows a health personnel attends to a mother and a child while other wait for their turn to be given vaccine. (Sunstar Zamboanga)

OFFICIALS have advised parents with children nine to 59 months old to have their children immunized against measles rubella.

Dr. Emilia Monicimpo, Department of Health (DOH) regional director, and Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar issued the advice as the City Health Office, in partnership with the DOH, launched Monday, October 26, the Measles Rubella Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-SIA) in Zamboanga City.

Monicimpo said they launched the Supplemental Immunization Activity to attain the objective of the health agency to immunize 95 percent of the children aged nine months to 59 months.

"We did not reach our target during the regular immunization program, the reason why we launch this activity," Monicimpo said, citing there are an estimated of four million children nine months to 59 months old in Zamboanga Peninsula.

"I call on the parents to support his program by allowing their children to be vaccinated," Salazar said.

However, the conduct of the supplemental immunization is not a house-to-house activity due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The City Health Office has established immunization posts in each village where parents can bring their children to be immunized with health and safety protocols in place.

Dr. Fatima Virginia Alamia, national immunization program medical coordinator of the City Health Office, said they are targeting to vaccinate 81,290 children nine months to 59 months old regardless of the immunization status.

Alamia said the supplemental immunization activity is aimed to protect the target beneficiary-children from Measles, Rubella and its complications.

She said the supplementation immunization, which ends November 25, is being held in the 16 health districts of this city.

Measles is a highly communicable viral illness transmitted through direct contact with nasal or throat secretion of infected person or by articles freshly soiled with nose and throat secretion.

The only way to prevent the disease is through vaccination and have a strong herd immunity from the community. (SunStar Zamboanga)


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