DOH exceeds routine immunization target for infants in Metro Manila


The Department of Health (DOH) said more than 137,000 infants in Metro Manila were vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) during its 10-day catch-up immunization drive.

A total of 137,701 infants aged zero to 12 months were vaccinated against VPDs such as polio, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, hepatitis B, and human papilloma virus (HPV). This was part of the “Vax-Baby-Vax” campaign that was launched by DOH-Metro Manila Center for Health Development (CHD) last Nov. 17.

“With only an original total target of 137,000 infants in the region, the DOH exceeded its target after inoculating an additional 701 infants, bringing the total coverage rate to 100.48 percent,” the DOH said in a statement on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

“We are very proud of this achievement not because we exceeded our target, but because having done so means that we were successful in protecting our children against debilitating but easily-preventable diseases,” the DOH said.

The top three cities with the highest coverage rates "relative to their respective target populations" are Manila with 28,073 or 130 percent; Quezon City with 23,732 or 129 percent; and Parañaque City with 10,803 or 122 percent, the DOH said.

With this, the DOH said “it will strive to achieve the same, or even better results, in other areas, considering the relatively low immunization coverage in other regions of the country as well.”

Around 1.4 million Filipino children born during the Covid-19 pandemic have yet to receive a single routine vaccine dose, the DOH said.

DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire urged parents to get their children vaccinated against VPDs.

“Ang paalala lamang po natin sa ating mga magulang: hindi pa huli ang lahat para pabakunahan ang ating mga anak (We are reminding parents that it's not yet too late to have your children vaccinated),” she said.

“Huwag na po nating hintayin na magkasakit sila at magsisi tayo, ngayon pa lang ay ibigay na natin sa kanila ang proteksyon na kailangan nila upang mabigyan natin sila ng malusog at matiwasay na buhay habang sila ay tumatanda (Let's not wait for them to get sick. Let's give them the protection they need so that we can give them a healthy life as they grow old),” she added.