By Jel Santos
A total of 550 trained staff and volunteers of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) will be administering oral polio vaccination (OPV) starting Monday, October 14, for the mass vaccination in the National Capital Region (NCR) and some Mindanao areas.
Richard Gordon, PRC chairman, said that they were targeting to vaccinate around 30, 000 children, from October 14 to 27.
“Our target number for the children to be vaccinated is 30,000. PRC wants your children to be safe. Vaccines will keep away your children from diseases. It is the most effective way to prevent polio. Together, we can stop the spread of polio,” he said in a statement.
PRC said its staff and volunteers will be divided into four-man teams which will be comprised of a leader, vaccinators, recorders, and a health educator or a hygiene promoter.
According to Gordon, support items for the mass vaccination activity such as dossarts, masks, gloves, alcohol, and vaccine carriers were already distributed to all PRC chapters in the NCR and selected Mindanao areas (Davao del Sur, Davao City, and Lanao del Sur).
Recently, a technical training on polio response workshop was held in preparation for the synchronized polio vaccination.
Gordon said the humanitarian organization has a master list of the children who will receive the vaccination. “Once vaccinated, a record will be made to make sure that no child will miss the two (2) remaining doses of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV). These are planned to be administered between November 2019 to January 2020.”
Staff and volunteers will inform parents on the importance of adhering to all government required child vaccinations.
“Red Cross volunteers and staff will also ensure the parents understand the importance of oral polio vaccine. They will also be handed information education and communication materials explaining the polio outbreak and its implications and a general knowledge of vaccination,” PRC said.
The synchronized oral polio vaccination will be conducted in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) and with support from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Cross Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
IFRC earlier donated nearly P20 million or a total of 336, 700 US to PRC to support the organization’s house-to-house visit to administer OPV.