In an effort to prevent possible outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in the country based on a warning issued by UNICEF, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) immunized at least 59,000 children against polio from July 20-22 as part of its “Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio” program.
PRC chairman and CEO Senator Richard Gordon said the PRC, with support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has accomplished 73 percent of its program target, with 58,655 out of 80,000 children having already been vaccinated against polio in its fourth round.
Gordon stressed there will be “no let-up” in the regular vaccination program covered under the Department of Health’s (DOH) Expanded Immunization Program amid the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
“We would not want to be dealing with outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases while we are still fighting in this World War C,” he added.
Data from the PRC’s Health Services showed that some 17,994 children in Mindanao were vaccinated on July 20; 21,335 on July 21; and 19,326 on July 22.
The DOH announced the “Sabayang Patak Kontra” Polio program, now in its fourth phase, will run until August 2.
Prior to the DOH putting the program on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PRC has already vaccinated a total of 94,014 children in Mindanao for the third round of the vaccination program, exceeding its target of 60,000.
“For this round, we have mobilized 608 volunteers and 43 staff and reached 160 communities in 36 cities/municipalities in Mindanao. Our chapters in Mindanao, 17 of them, participated in this endeavour,” Gordon said as he commended the PRC chapters, volunteers and staff “who put their fears aside to go house to house and be able to vaccinate these children.”