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  • DOH Starts Nationwide Polio Vaccination For Children 5 Years Old And Below

    The mass vaccination will be done in three rounds and will end in January 2020.
    by Kitty Elicay .
DOH Starts Nationwide Polio Vaccination For Children 5 Years Old And Below
PHOTO BY Department of Health (Philippines)/Facebook
  • Today, October 14, 2019, marks the start of the Department of Health’s “Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio,” a catch-up vaccination campaign against polio for children 5 years old and below in cities and provinces in Metro Manila and Mindanao.

    The DOH will conduct door-to-door vaccination in the following cities and provinces, which are considered high-risk areas: National Capital Region (NCR), Lanao del Sur, Marawi City, Davao del Sur, and Davao City. The agency will also ensure that barangay health units and municipal health centers have enough supply of the polio vaccine.

    In a Facebook post, the DOH published an explainer on the "Sabayang Patak Kontrol Polio" campaign. They answer Frequently Asked Questions on what the campaign is about and who are required to participate in the mass vaccination.

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    All children 5 years old and below are required to get the polio vaccine

    Since a polio outbreak has been declared and the Philippines have recorded new cases of the highly infectious disease, all children who are 5 years old and below need to be vaccinated against polio for their protection. DOH’s campaign will ensure that all children will be given the vaccine, whether they have previously been vaccinated or not.

    The DOH will be giving out oral polio vaccines (OPV) until October 27, 2019. “Sa Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio, ang OPV ay ipapatak ng dalawang beses sa bibig ng isang bata (The OPV will be administered by putting two drops in the child’s mouth.),” according to the DOH.

    For children who will be getting the vaccine for the first time, a record will be made to ensure that no child will miss the two remaining doses of OPV, which will be administered in November 2019 and January 2020.

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    According to guidelines released by the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) and Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP), the primary series for polio vaccination consists of three doses of OPV and a dose of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) given with the third dose of OPV.

    There is no cure for polio, but the disease is highly preventable with the three doses of OPV and one dose of IPV, said the DOH.

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    Enough polio vaccines for children

    The nationwide campaign will be conducted in three rounds, with the next two happening on November 25 to December 7, 2019 for all of Mindanao and NCR, and January 6 to 18, 2020 for all Mindanao.

    The DOH assured the public that there are enough vaccines for the target number of children. “The DOH has allotted Php7 million for the first round and Php103 million for each of the second and third round,” explains DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Abdullah Dumama, Jr., in a press briefing. “This amount will be spent for the mobilization since the vaccines are given to us for free by the UNICEF.”

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    The DOH will work closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and local government units to disseminate and implement the vaccination program. All OPVs will be given for free under the campaign.

    Travelers who are coming to visit the Philippines are encouraged to receive a shot of IPV prior to their visit. Click here to read guidelines from the DOH.

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