Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday called on mothers to have their children vaccinated with the upsurge of measles cases in Negros Occidental.
He said vaccinations are necessary because measles can sometimes be deadly.
The mothers should not be afraid to have their children vaccinated to ward off measles because it is different from the controversial Dengvaxia, the governor said.
In November 2017, the DOH suspended a school-based dengue vaccination, also known as "Dengvaxia", after French drug based vaccine maker, Sanofi Pasteur, made a statement that its product poses higher risks to people without prior dengue infection.
“Loss of public confidence and trust in vaccines in the immunization program brought about by the Dengvaxia controversy has been documented as one of many factors that contributed to vaccine hesitancy in the country,” a DOH press statement said yesterday.
“This refers to mothers who became hesitant to have their children vaccinated with vaccines that were long proven to be effective,” it said.
“I appeal to the public to rebuild your trust and confidence in vaccines that were long proven to be effective, and I am quite sure that all of us sometime in our lives have been recipients of these vaccines which had protected us from various diseases,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III urged yesterday.
Measles cases in Negros Occidental increased by an alarming 3,333 percent in January this year compared to the same period last year, triggered by the Dengvaxia controversy that has scared parents off from having their children vaccinated, Provincial Health Officer Ernell Tumimbang said last week.
The Department of Health last week declared a measles outbreak in Western Visayas, that includes Negros Occidental and Bacolod City.
Measles cases in Negros Occidental from January 1 to 26 this year were 103 compared to 3 in the same period last year, Tumimbang said.
Tumimbang said the surge in measles cases began in August last year from relatively low numbers in the first half of 2018.
There were 370 measles cases in Negros Occidental in 2018 or a 1,380 percent increase from the 25 cases in 2017, he said.
The DOH Epidemiology Bureau reported that from January 1 to February 9 this year, 4,302 measles cases have been reported, with 70 deaths, nationwide.
Regions with high reported cases are NCR (1,296 cases and 18 deaths) CALABARZON (1,086 cases and 25 deaths), Central Luzon (481 cases with 3 deaths), Western Visayas (212 cases and 4 deaths) and Northern Mindanao (189 cases and 2 deaths), the DOH reported.*
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