The Manila City government is targeting to finish its measles and rubella vaccination drive before the arrival of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines in the Philippines.
In a statement released on Thursday, Manila Health Department Officer Arnold Pangan said the measles vaccination drive should be completed prior to the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines.
This will allow city government health personnel to fully focus on the upcoming COVID-19 vaccination activities.
“If we can do it in two weeks’ time, mas maganda po kasi baka dumating na ’yung COVID-19 vaccine. Baka mag-dodoble-doble pa po ‘yung trabaho nila, so pinipilit natin na bilisan pa para po mas ma-achieve natin yung goal natin (that would be better because the COVID-19 vaccines might already arrive. Their work will double so we are pushing ourselves to work faster so we can achieve our goal at) the soonest possible time,” he said.
Data from the city government showed that as of Thursday, 38,603 children, with ages between 9 months and 59 months old have already been vaccinated since it started the “Chikiting Ligtas sa dagdag bakuna kontra Tigdas at Rubella” program last Monday.
Pangan said this is 27.10% of the MHD’s target. The city government aims to vaccinate about 146,000 children by mid-February.
The program to vaccinate children against measles is a nationwide initiative in coordination with the Department of Health, World Health Organization, UNICEF, RELIEF International, Healthy Philippines, and local government units around the country.