Department of Health region 10 gives updates to local media on its campaign for the 2nd round of Polio Vaccination in Northern Mindanao. (Vincent Bautista/PIA 10)
Department of Health (DOH) Region 10 urges parents to have their children who are five years old and below to avail of the second round of polio vaccination from January 20 to February 2, this year.
Dr. Ian Christian Gonzales in a press conference said there are no polio cases in the region, however, there are cases being detected nationwide.
“For our cases, its good to know that we do not have a polio case here in the region, however, they had detected four additional cases: two in Maguindanao, one in Sultan Kudarat, one in Quezon city which brings the total cases to 16 here in the Philippines,” Dr. Gonzales said.
There are instances that parents will still refuse to accept the free vaccination program for their children. The reasons will vary. According to Dr. Gonzales, others still have the fear of harm and made mentioned Dengvaxia while some are not well aware that there is a campaign and since there is no advanced knowledge regarding the campaign hesitation always hinders them from submitting their children to vaccination.
"I believe that we need to intensify our campaign against polio especially to those places that are difficult to reach," he said.
In the first phase, the region targeted 384, 000 children to be vaccinated and had accomplished 554,239 which is a coverage of 95% for the entire region 10.
The second round of vaccination, Dr. Gonzales clarified is for type two poliovirus. He explained that for round one last November and the current round 2, type 2 vaccine was given. But due to the detection of type of cases, a bivalent (type 1and 2) vaccine will also be given this coming February and March.
Dr. Gonzales said there are three types of poliovirus, all of them will cause Paralytic Polio to infected individuals.
Breakdown of the first round of vaccination include Bukidnon - 90%, Camiguin - 82%, Lanao del Norte – 97%, Misamis Occidental - 94%, Misamis Oriental - 95%, Cagayan de Oro - 99% and Iligan – 100%.
For the second round, Dr. Gonzales emphasized the need to push for more visibility in terms of vaccination hubs. They will be visible in malls and market places. The goal is to ensure that no child is missed.
Round two starts January 20 until February 2 this year, which means the same children given the first round will be advised to take the second round. He also said there is no need to worry if the children were already given by private hospitals as the vaccines do not have any overdose effect.
Although it has reached 95% coverage of its polio outbreak response, DOH is still targeting the 29,000 more children who have not been vaccinated.
DOH urges parents to let their kids be vaccinated for a better immune system against the virus.