Migration, lack of interest affecting vaccination rate

 Photo from Sunstar FileMacky Lim
Photo from Sunstar FileMacky Lim

FAMILIES migrating and lack of interest by some households have caused the low turnout in the mass vaccination against several diseases in the city, the Davao City Health Office (CHO) said.

On January 12, 2023, CHO head Dr. Tomas Miguel Ababon said in an interview on Davao City Disaster Radio that they were given an extension until June 15 to hit their target of vaccinated children against measles, rubella, and polio during the immunization campaign of the Department of Health (DOH).

Ababon said there are several challenges that they are facing right now in achieving their targets. One of those challenges is the information campaign.

"The important thing here is to inform the people. Even before the campaign starts, we should have already informed the people that there will be a campaign and that we will be going house-to-house," he said.

"However, even if some people are already aware, they still refuse to participate in the vaccination and do not accept government projects, but we are doing our best to explain to them," he added.

Ababon said some parents changed their minds, and others are simply not interested. However, he urged those who don't want to receive the health service to reconsider.

"For those who are not really interested, we hope that you change your minds and bring your children to us to get vaccinated," he said.

Apart from this, they have also considered that migration or movement of families has affected their turnout rate.

"There are barangays or districts that have lower turnout rates because we have observed that people have moved or relocated to other places," he said.

"What we consider now is the movement of people in and out of a particular area. Those who have migrated are usually our workers from outside the city," he said.

"And the out-migration families, like those affected by disasters or government projects, have been relocated. So, we have districts where the target population versus actual population is different, and there is a discrepancy, making it difficult to hit the target," he added.

CHO said Agdao, Bunawa, Tugbok, Sasa, Talomo South, and Talomo Central Districts are some of the areas with low turnout rates.

Meanwhile, in a recent report, Ababon said that Paquibato and Marilog Districts in Davao City have achieved 100 percent and 97 percent turnout rates, respectively.

CHO said that the city's measles and rubella vaccination rate for May was 84 percent, with 130,063 out of the 154,138 target population being immunized. Additionally, 75 percent of the 21,529 target population has received the oral polio vaccination (OPV).


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