MANILA — Some 137,000 infants were inoculated against infectious diseases during a 10-day catch-up immunization drive in Metro Manila, the Department of Health said Tuesday.
Launched on Nov. 7, the "Vax-Baby-Vax" campaign aims to protect infants ages 0-12 months against vaccine preventable diseases, including polio, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, hepatitis B, and human papilloma virus.
“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," DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a statement.
About 1.4 million Filipino children born during the COVID-19 pandemic have yet to receive a single vaccine dose, according to the DOH, citing latest data on immunization coverage.
The DOH launched the campaign to increase immunization coverage in the capital region, especially for infants who missed their routine immunization due to the pandemic.
"Due to mobility restrictions and other exacerbating factors, marami sa ating mga anak ang hindi nabigyan ng karampatang bakuna na poprotekta dapat sa kanila laban sa iba’t ibang mga sakit," Vergeire said.
"Ang paalala lamang po natin sa ating mga magulang: hindi pa huli ang lahat para pabakunahan ang ating mga anak," she added.
(Many of our children were not given vaccines that could protect them from various diseases. We remind parents that it is not yet too late to have our children vaccinated.)
The 3 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 it would also strive to achieve the same or even better results in other regions.