DOH to hold polio vaccination drive in Metro Manila

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 17 2020 03:18 PM | Updated as of Jan 17 2020 04:17 PM

Children receive the polio vaccine during a multi-regional mass immunization program in Quezon City, Oct. 14, 2019. The Department of Health earlier announced the reemergence of polio in the country 19 years since it was declared free from the disease. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA—The Department of Health will hold a 12-day vaccination drive in the Philippine capital, its chief said Friday after Metro Manila confirmed its first case of the disease.

The mass vaccination will run from Jan. 27 to Feb. 7 and will focus on the poliovirus type 2, which saw a resurgence in Quezon City, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

“Iko-cover natin sila for another round of immunization, sabayang patak kontra polio, particularly type 2,” he told reporters on the sidelines of President Rodrigo Duterte’s legacy campaign launch in Pasay City.

(We will cover them for another round of mass polio immunization, particularly type 2.)

The poliovirus type 2, eradicated in 2015, is a vaccine-derived virus that spreads from person to person, which can only happen in places with limited immunization coverage and inadequate sanitation and hygiene, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

On Thursday, the health department confirmed Metro Manila’s first case of polio since the disease broke out in the Philippines last year. At present, there are a total of 16 recorded cases of polio in the country.

Metro Manila’s first case is of a 3-year-old boy from Batasan Hills, Quezon City, Duque said, citing a report from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

Duque assured the public that the government had enough supply of the vaccine to protect people from polio and appealed to hospitals to report to the DOH cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), a manifestation of polio, since it is a public health concern.

“Sa darating po na Jan. 27 to Feb. 7, huwag po natin kalimutan na dalhin ulit ang ating mga anak para sa oral polio vaccine,” the health chief said.

(Please don’t forget to have your children immunized from Jan. 27 to Feb. 7.)

Polio reemerged in the Philippines in September last year, 19 years since the WHO declared the country free from the disease.