DOH urges parents to have kids vaccinated vs preventable diseases

Published October 24, 2021, 1:44 PM

by Analou de Vera

Elementary school children wearing face masks sit in a classroom on Natuna island in Riau islands province on 4 February, 2020. (File photo MANILA BULLETIN)

The Department of Health (DOH) has urged parents to have their children vaccinated against preventable diseases, particularly polio.

“While we have successfully eradicated polio, we have to ensure that there will never be an outbreak again and it begins with vaccination. We call on the parents to ensure that your child gets their routine immunization so they can be protected against polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases,” said DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III in a statement on Sunday, Oct. 24.

Duque urged parents to coordinate with their respective barangay health centers to know the schedule of the routine vaccination in their areas.

“This month, the DOH has launched the ‘Catch-up Routine Immunization’ to ensure delivery of National Immunization Program services to children. Ang mga bakuna po for routine immunization ay ligtas at libre, makipag-ugnayan lamang po sa local health centers sa inyong lugar (Vaccines for routine immunization are safe and free, just coordinate with your local health centers in your area),” he said.

Polio is a “highly infectious, crippling, and sometimes fatal disease that can be avoided with a vaccine,” the DOH said, adding that children “under the age of five are most vulnerable to contracting polio.”

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to prevent another outbreak of certain diseases, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

“We should do everything necessary to prevent another outbreak of polio or any other vaccine-preventable disease such as measles, rubella, diphtheria. The lives and health of our children are at stake,” said WHO Representative to the Philippines Dr Rabindra Abeyasinghe.

“Our plea to parents: please ensure that your children have received all the routine childhood vaccines including polio doses as we prepare for them to go back to schools and early learning centres,” he added.