The Department of Health (DOH) has assured the public the vaccines used in the government’s immunization campaign against measles-rubella and polio are safe and effective.
Elaine Villarosa, DOH Eastern Visayas national immunization program manager, said on Friday these vaccines are recommended by the World Health Organization and approved by the Food and Drugs Administration.
“This has been existing in the immunization program for almost 40 years already. They are proven and tested, have saved lives, and prevented further disabilities, so there is no reason for us to refuse,” she said in a virtual press conference.
In the region, the month-long supplemental immunization campaign starts on Feb. 1, covering over 535,000 children between zero and nine-months and below five years old for measles-rubella and oral polio vaccines, respectively.
Villarosa said the region is part of the second phase of the nationwide campaign including the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Calabarzon, Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, and Central Visayas.
The first phase was in the Mindanao regions and some areas in Luzon, she added.
“This would provide booster immunization to children. We are doing this step to prevent an impending outbreak over an existing pandemic and avoid further injury to the health care system which we are experiencing right now,” Villarosa said.
As part of its strategies to avoid overcrowding and ensure that health protocols against Covid-19 are properly observed, the DOH will conduct the activity in fixed and temporary vaccination posts.
Identified fixed posts in the region are health centers, while the temporary posts manned by mobile vaccination teams would be opened in school grounds, community centers, basketball courts, and other open spaces.
“We want the best for our children so we are calling the public especially parents and guardians to support this campaign,” Villarosa said.
The health department also appealed to village officials to help them facilitate the activity. (PNA)