The city government here, together with the Department of Health (DOH), started on Monday a house-to-house administration of free polio vaccine to children aged 0-4 years old.
Mayor Carmelo Lazatin, Jr. cited the importance of the anti-polio vaccination program to ensure the welfare of children who are susceptible to viruses and diseases.
Lazatin also helped in giving the oral vaccine under the Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio (SPKP) program to some toddlers in Barangays Virgen Delos Remedios, Ninoy Aquino, and San Jose.
He was assisted by City Health Officer Dr. Verona Guevarra, Nurse Supervisor Evelinda Mariano, Gender and Development Officer Mina Cabiles, and representatives from the DOH, World Health Organization (WHO), and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
“We will administer a house-to-house vaccination to more than 50,000 kids in the city. I have instructed Executive Assistant IV Reina Manuel to coordinate with the barangay health workers (BHWs) to conduct a survey in the city’s 33 villages to identify children who will be receiving the free polio vaccine,” Lazatin said.
The mayor said the vaccination of other children from city’s 33 barangays will follow suit.
“Huwag po kayong mag-alala, para po ito sa kalusugan at kapakanan ng mga batang Angeleño. Hinihikayat ko po ang mga magulang na pabakunahan niyo po ang inyong mga anak na may edad na 11 buwan hanggang apat na taong gulang. Libre lang po ito (Do not worry. This is for the health and welfare of the Angeleño children. I am encouraging the parents to vaccinate their children aged 11 months up to four years old. This is free),” Lazatin said in a statement.
“Let us help one another by raising awareness on how to safeguard our health and welfare,” he added.
Angeles City is among the areas in Central Luzon that will conduct the synchronized polio immunization for Round 1, Phase 1 from July 20 to August 2, this year. Other areas are Nueva Ecija, Aurora, and City of San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan.
For Round 1, Phase 2 from Aug. 3-16, included are the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales.
Under Round 2 from Sept. 7-20, the whole of Central Luzon will be covered.
DOH Regional Director Cessar Cassion earlier said the campaign aims to boost immunization against polio by giving doses of monovalent oral polio vaccine type 2 (mOPV2) to all children under five years of age, (0-59 months old), regardless of their immunization status.
To ensure interruption of polio virus transmission, Cassion said at least two successive rounds of SPKP will be done, each with an aim of at least 95-percent coverage to ensure no child is left behind.
Cassion said the mOPV2 vaccine is pre-qualified by the WHO, safe, and with no concerns for overdosage.
He likewise appealed for the participation of the parents/caregivers, health workers, barangay officials, and local government units for the implementation of a quality campaign to successfully end the polio outbreak.
The first positive case of polio in Central Luzon that was reported last Feb. 15 brought the total number of cases in the country to 17 since an outbreak was declared in September 2019. (PNA)