South Cotabato steps up preparations for catch-up immunization drive

February 15, 2016 11:56 pm 

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Feb. 15 — Health personnel in South Cotabato province have stepped their preparations for the scheduled catch-up immunization drive next week on measles rubella and polio.

Genesis Navales, health education promotions officer of the Integrated Provincial Health Office, said Monday the immunization activities will be conducted in all barangays within the province’s 10 towns and lone city on February 22 to 26.

She said they are targeting to cover all children aged five years-old and below for the initiative, which is supported by the Department of Health (DOH) in Region 12.

“Children who have underwent previous vaccinations and those who have not will be covered by the campaign,” she said.

Navales said the DOH has set the immunization drive to allow the province to catch up with the gap on the polio and measles rubella vaccination program.

In August last year, the IPHO served around 28,000 school children and pupils in line with the nationwide immunization activity for measles rubella and tetanus-diphtheria.

The campaign covered pupils enrolled in Grades 1 and 3 and students in Grade 7 in public schools within the province.

The activity is part of the DOH’s routine immunization plan to ensure high levels of protection for the targeted population.

For next week’s immunization drive, Navales said the required vaccines have already been distributed to the area’s rural health units.

She assured that the prepared vaccines are safe, effective and approved for use by the World Health Organization.

“These vaccines have been properly tested and have passed the standards in terms of providing protection against measles rubella and polio diseases,” she said.

Navales advised parents not to worry in case some reactions would occur as a result of the vaccination.

She said some children may experience mild and temporary reactions like swelling and tenderness at the injection area and fever.

South Cotabato province has not recorded a single case of measles in 2015 and is currently working on the total elimination of the disease in the area. (PNA)

LAP/AVE/AC

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