MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) again appealed to parents to have their children vaccinated during the launch of its weekend immunization campaign against measles in Mandaluyong City Saturday.
This following an outbreak of measles in parts of the country, where more than 100 deaths have been recorded.
In a statement, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said there was no reason to fear immunization and that the controversy over anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia was a separate matter.
The drug had been linked to deaths after drug maker Sanofi Pasteur warned of its possible side effects on those who have not been afflicted with dengue. The firm has maintained its product has not killed anyone.
The controversy surrounding the drug had led to a drop in immunization coverage last year.
“Nakikiramay po kami sa mga pamilya ng pumanaw dahil sa kumplikasyon ng measles. Napakahalaga po ng pagbabakuna. Ilang dekada na po ang pagbabakuna. Ihiwalay ang isyu ng Dengvaxia,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque said in a statement.
(We express our sympathies to families of those who died due to measles complication. Immunization is important. It has been practiced for several decades. Let’s separate the issue of Dengvaxia.)
The vaccination campaign in Barangay Addition Hills hopes to address the need to inoculate more children who could not go for immunization on weekdays.
The DOH earlier reported that 6,921 measles cases and 115 deaths were recorded across the country from Jan. 1 to Feb. 13, 2019. The National Capital Region has the most number of cases at 1,752, closely followed by Calabarzon at 1,653.
Duque was happy to note that more parents were now cooperative and also promised to encourage others to have their children vaccinated.
Per DOH data, 12 to 14 million children from across the country have yet to receive their vaccinations.
The agency will also double its campaign efforts to reach more children and eventually decrease measles cases in the country.