ROUGHLY seven out of 10 children targeted for immunization against preventable diseases have been vaccinated, the Department of Health (DOH) reported.
As of February 21, 2021, the DOH said 3,721,186 children, or 73 percent of the target, have been vaccinated against measles and rubella.
The department also said 3,483,423 children, or 72.9 percent of the target, were vaccinated against polio.
There remain over 1.3 million children who need to be inoculated against measles and rubella, and around 1.2 million who should receive the oral polio vaccine.
In the National Capital Region, 71.3 percent or 726,006 children aged 9 to 59 months have been vaccinated.
There were 826,870 (85.4 percent) and 913,822 (70.2 percent) children in Central Luzon and Calabarzon, respectively, who were vaccinated.
Meanwhile, 964,249 children aged 0 to 59 months (or 85.1 percent) have been vaccinated against polio in Central Luzon and 1,069,791 (70.2 percent) have been vaccinated in Calabarzon.
In the Visayas, 516,748 (78.2 percent) children in Western Visayas, 422,104 (60.9 percent) in Central Visayas and 315,636 (68.8 percent) in Eastern Visayas have been vaccinated against measles and rubella.
Oral polio vaccine recipients included 588,197 (76.4 percent) children in Western Visayas, 497,067 (60.9 percent) in Central Visayas and 364,119 (68.0 percent) in Eastern Visayas.
The government launched the second phase of the Measles-Rubella and Oral Polio Vaccination Supplemental Immunization Activity on February 1, 2021. It is scheduled to run until February 28.
In a statement, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III urged local government units (LGUs) to help convince parents to have their children vaccinated.
The government targets to achieve a 95 percent coverage to achieve herd immunity from measles, rubella and polio.
“We call on our local government units, who have better access to their constituents, to pitch in and assure our mothers that our health centers are safe places where they can get their children vaccinated. As long as we are able to comply with our minimum public health standards, as well as the protocols of the health centers, we can be protected from Covid-19,” Duque said.
He stressed that the vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective for over 40 years.
“Parents need not have second thoughts. Above all, we can prevent unnecessary deaths that are caused by these illnesses. This is why we have tirelessly been urging our mothers to have their children vaccinated,” he added. (SunStar Philippines from PR)