MANILA — The Department of Health has vaccinated more than 3 million children against measles, rubella and polio during the first week of its "Chikiting Ligtas 2023" campaign.
The agency launched this month a nationwide supplemental immunization campaign to inoculate the youth against vaccine-preventable diseases.
In a press briefing Tuesday, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said some 2.3 million were vaccinated against measles and rubella or 24.2 percent of the total eligible population.
Meanwhile, more than 829,000 children received the polio vaccine or 27.49 percent of the total eligible population, she added.
Additionally, the agency has distributed vitamin A supplementation to 385,000 families.
Vergeire urged parents to join the catch-up routine immunization, which was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is the only way that we can prevent further infections and outbreaks among our children all over the country," she said.
Based on the UNICEF's latest global report, some 67 million children partially or fully missed routine vaccines globally between 2019 and 2021.
Of the 67 million children whose vaccinations were "severely disrupted," 48 million missed out on routine vaccines entirely, also known as "zero-dose," UNICEF said, flagging concerns about potential polio and measles outbreaks.
The Philippines has 1,048,000 zero dose children, the second highest in East Asia and the Pacific Region, and the fifth highest globally.
The top 5 regions with most zero-dose children include Calabarzon (146,160), Central Luzon (99,541), Western Visayas (96,774), Bicol (80,905) and the Bangsamoro (75,671).
Partial 2022 data showed coverage for Fully Immunized Child (FIC) and Measles Containing Vaccine 1 (MCV1) were at 57.35 percent and 68.94 percent, respectively. Some 95 percent is required to reach herd immunity.
Courtesy of DOH