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Relief International asks public to allay vaccine fear

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Relief International asks public to allay vaccine fear

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Jan. 7 (PIA) — Relief International (RI) Philippines called on the public to allay vaccination fear amid the upcoming Measles Rubella- Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-OPV SIA) this February.
 
RI Provincial Focal Person John Karlo Domingo shared that Nueva Ecija and Bulacan were listed as priority provinces in Central Luzon for the immunization campaign.
 
“Based on the data we gathered from Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio (SPKP) last July 20-September 30, those two provinces were recorded to have the highest deferrals and refusals,” he explained.
 
Parents or guardians refuse to have their children vaccinated due to the recent issue on Dengvaxia, wired with the current problem in the coronavirus disease.
 
Relief International serves as social mobilizers who educate parents on the importance of vaccines, and to eradicate malice of diseases.
 
“With our observations last SPKP, some parents are really afraid for their children. Years have passed since the last vaccine issue and the fear is still there,” Domingo said.
 
MR-OPV SIA 2021 targets to provide 5.1 million measles and rubella vaccines, and more than 900,000 oral polio vaccines in Central Luzon.

Relief International Provincial Focal Person John Karlo Domingo (right), and Communication for Development Specialist Mark Spencer Barcena (left) report that the current vaccine fear poses the biggest challenge in achieving the target population for MR-OPV SIA 2021. (Jag Lyra Costamero/PIA 3)

“We are aiming for a large number because the more the kids we vaccinate in a community, the lesser is the chance for the disease to spread. This will be beneficial not only to the children who received the vaccine, but also to those kids who were not, especially those who are immunocompromised,” he pointed.
 
Measles and rubella or German measles vaccine will be provided to children 9-59 months old, while oral polio vaccine will be given to children 0-59 months old.
 
Moreover, RI emphasized that the vaccine is free, and the Department of Health ensures that it is safe and effective. 
 
“The strategy for the supplemental immunization activity is not to do it on a house-to-house basis. There should be fixed posts provided such as barangay health centers or other places to be assigned by the health officers. There will be a staggered scheduling to be strictly followed,” Domingo furthered. 
 
Vaccines to be given are only supplemental dosage and can be completed through routine immunization.
 
Polio is a viral infection which attacks the spinal cord and nerve muscles that may lead to paralysis.  Moreover, Measles is a highly contagious illness which affects the nose and throat.  

Rubella, on the other hand, can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or childbirth defects for mothers who become infected during pregnancy. (CLJD/JLDC-PIA 3)