President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Monday led the launch of a nationwide immunization campaign which seeks to prevent the outbreak of measles, rubella and polio among Filipino children.
In his speech, Aquino asked the public to participate in the program, which aims to achieve at least 95 percent vaccination coverage at all administrative levels.
According to him, 11 to 13 million people in the country are at risk from measles, polio and rubella (German measles).
The President said the Department of Health (DOH) will try its best to reach remote communities to carry out the vaccination program.
He emphasized the importance of coordinating with local government units throughout the country to ensure the program’s success.
Aquino also called on parents to take it upon themselves to have their children vaccinated.
The new campaign is a follow-up of the 2011 immunization drive to interrupt the transmission of highly infectious diseases.
The DOH said the most effective campaign against measles was in 2004 with vaccination coverage reaching 95 percent.
From 2005 to 2009, the incidence of measles was only between 0.1 and 16 per million population.
But in 2011, the incidence climbed to 68.8 per million population with vaccination coverage at 84 percent.
The oral polio vaccine was added to the campaign in view of the risk of the spread of the polio virus.
The mass immunization will be conducted from September 1 to 30, with all health centers serving as vaccination posts.
The DOH said all children should be given the measles-rubella vaccine.