The Municipal Health Office (MHO) of San Jose has set a target of vaccinating 18,000 children in the town against measles, rubella, and polio this month.
In a recent Kapihan held at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Dr. Lordevino Mesina, the Officer-in-Charge of the Municipal Health Office, explained that this effort is part of the Chikiting Ligtas 2023: ‘Join the Big Catch-up, Magpabakuna para sa Healthy Pilipinas’ campaign.
The national supplemental immunization campaign, initiated by the Department of Health (DOH), is running from May 2 to 31. It aims to vaccinate 95% of the total population of children aged 0-59 months for polio and 9-59 months for measles and rubella.
Mesina said that based on DOH data, the administration of these vaccines was limited last year due to the ongoing pandemic.
“It is alarming that when measles strikes and an outbreak occurs, the children are left unprotected, and many of them could be at risk, especially since their immune system is still developing,” Mesina said.
The health official pointed out that one of the challenges they anticipate in the success of the vaccination program is the hesitancy of some parents regarding the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines.
He further stated that due to the negative news surrounding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine in the past, almost all government immunization programs, even those involving proven vaccines, have been affected.
To achieve the target of vaccinating 18,000 children in San Jose, Mesina appealed to all sectors to help disseminate accurate information about the vaccines.
The Local Government continues its various information campaigns, and the MHO is taking the vaccination campaign to different barangays within the municipality.