The provincial government of Bulacan, through the Provincial Health Office-Public Health (PHO-PH), is conducting its catch-up vaccination campaign against polio for children five years old and below.
Governor Daniel R. Fernando said the catch-up immunization will be until December this year.
Fernando said that despite having zero polio in the province, the PHO-PH is intensifying efforts to increase the coverage of fully-immunized children and ensure that all kids in the province are protected.
“Bagaman hindi tayo kasama sa synchronized polio vaccination na ginagawa ng DOH, ginagawa natin ‘to para makatulong sa bansa at masigurado na walang magiging kaso ng polyo sa Bulacan. Sa ngayon, ‘yung pagbabakunang ginagawa natin ay doon sa mga defaulter na mga batang limang taong gulang pababa na hindi nakabalik sa tamang araw ng bakuna (Although we are not included in the synchronized polio vaccination that the DOH has been doing, we are conducting this to help the nation ensure that there will be no polio cases in Bulacan. As of now, the vaccination that we are doing here is for defaulter children five years old and below who were not able to come back during their vaccination schedule),” Fernando said.
Based on the records of the PHO-PH, only 63 percent were vaccinated in Bulacan, which is 32 percent lower than the 95 percent target for a province to be labeled with herd immunity.
Dr. Jocelyn Gomez, provincial health officer, said there are some reasons for the decline in the accomplishment of expanded program on immunization.
“There are some children not eligible for vaccination, no vaccine available, some of the mothers were busy that they forget the vaccination schedule of their children and others were concerned on the side effects,” Gomez said.
She encouraged everyone to go to the nearest health centers for more information and vaccination of children five years old and below.
According to the World Health Organization, polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that invades the nervous system, and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours.
The virus is transmitted by person-to-person spread mainly through the fecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (for example, contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine.
It is also stated that oral polio vaccine (OPV) is a safe and effective vaccine that has saved millions of lives over the years but if a population is not sufficiently immunized, the weakened virus can continue to circulate.
The polio outbreak in the Philippines is confirmed to be from a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2. (PNA)