Baguio public urged to support, measles-rubella, polio vaccination

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City officials urged the public to support and actively participate in the upcoming measles-rubella, oral polio supplemental immunization activity scheduled on October 26 to November 25, 2020.

Under Resolution No. 567 signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, city councilors stated that for the effective implementation of the supplemental immunization activity, the city government, through the local finance committee and the City Health Services Office,  shall look into possible sources of funding for the smooth implementation of the program and to serve as the city’s counterpart for the month-long implementation of the immunization program of the government.

Earlier, the Mayor issued Executive Order No. 140, series of 2020, encouraging communities in the city to actively support the measles-rubella, oral polio supplemental immunization activity as part of the government’s effort to cascade to the grassroots level the existing immunization program amidst the prevailing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) health pandemic that caused some major government initiatives to be stalled.

Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines accords every local government unit power and authority to aggressively promote the general welfare within its territorial jurisdiction, including the promotion of health and safety of its constituents.

The council noted that the Philippines has set as one of its goals in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030 of the United Nations (UN) to end preventable deaths of new born babies and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to significantly reduce neonatal mortality at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under 5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births.

According to the council, elimination and eradication control of the childhood vaccine-preventable diseases requires that at least 95 percent of the child population be fully immunized annually.

The council emphasized that low immunization rate in the city will render children susceptible to vaccine-preventable diseases thereby threatening the country with possible outbreak and epidemic despite the national purchases of free, potent and high-quality vaccines for all infants and children and mothers.

Moreover, city officials stipulated that achieving 95 percent immunization rate for infant and children aged 0-59 months will require unified commitment of the national government, local governments, health workers, communities, parents, and all sectors of the society.

The council claimed that the measles-rubella, oral polio supplemental immunization activity conducted in 2014 helped curb the virus transmission but it was reportedly insufficient to advance the country’s progress towards the elimination of the vaccine preventable illnesses among infants and children aged 0-59 months.

The inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases previously endorsed the conduct of the measles-rubella, oral polio supplemental immunization activity of the health department and for the said purpose, health personnel shall be  allowed to undertake immunization activities in relation to the same regardless of community quarantine status in the place where the said activity shall be conducted. By Dexter A. See

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