The city government of Bago, through the City Health Office, joined the regionwide launching of the Measles-Rubella Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR OPV SIA) campaign yesterday.
The program is dubbed “Chikiting Ligtas”, that aims to immunize 95 percent of all children aged 9 to 59 months with measles-rubella vaccines, and all children under 5 years old with oral polio vaccines, a press release from the city said.
It acts as preventive measure that guards children from contracting highly contagious diseases that can lead to grave complications, including permanent disability.
Mayor Nicholas Yulo, in his first Monday of the month virtual flag ceremony message yesterday morning, appealed to all Bagonhon parents to have their children vaccinated.
The free vaccination program will end on Feb. 28.
The Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development earlier said it is targeting to cover 770,279 children in the region.
Dr. Daphynie Teorima, DOH CHD 6 Child Health and National Immunization Program coordinator, said the target for the free immunization was provided by the central office, based on the region’s projected population for 2020.
“Our vaccines are safe. These are regulated commodities that undergo clinical trials. Our measles, rubella, and polio vaccines have been perfected since they were produced in the 1930s,” she said.
Teorima said the risk is high if children are not vaccinated.
In the case of measles, there is a risk of pneumonia leading to death, hearing defects that could lead to difficulty in learning, and encephalitis.
For rubella, the risk of non-vaccination includes blindness, mental retardation, and heart and liver problems.
“We really aim for the vaccination of children before they reach their fifth birthday,” she added.
With the threat of Covid-19, the strategy has been modified from what used to be a house-to-house vaccination. Now, there is a fixed site, such as health centers, with schedules.*PNA