291K Bicolano kids get Polio immunization

LEGAZPI CITY – Some around 291,000 kids or 78.48%  of the target eligible children in the Bicol region have successfully been vaccinated against polio, according to the Department of Health–Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) in Bicol, stressing the success of the second round of its anti-polio immunization drive.

Dr. Monrey Isaiah Mancilla, regional medical coordinator of the National Immunization Program for the region, in a DOH-CHD Bicol statement on Friday, thanked the health workers and parents who participated in the bivalent Oral Poliomyelitis Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity (bOPV SIA) from May 17 to 31.

“Our health workers, as well as parents and their relatives have experienced many challenges in their efforts to ensure the safety of our children in Bicol against polio. There was a series of typhoons, floods, and the pandemic but our sacrifices turned out worthy. We are all part of the ending of the polio outbreak in the Philippines),” he said.

Dr. Mancilla said that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the bOPV SIA accomplished 78.48% of the vaccination, which is significantly close to the population protection threshold of 80%.

The immunization campaign was carried out in various communities and population centers in the region. It targeted to reach 370,806 eligible children aged 0-59 months old.

The bOPV SIA is a follow-up to the Measles-Rubella and Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR OPV SIA) which was conducted from October to December 2020. The first round accomplished 88.99% of its 95% immunization coverage target.

Through the bOPV SIA, the statement said, excess OPV from last year’s MR OPV SIA were utilized which reduced vaccine wastage and provided additional protection against polio.

The statement likewise said the DOH-CHD Bicol drive “highlights the importance of vaccination especially for vaccine-preventable diseases following the announcement by the World Health Organization and the Department of Health that the polio outbreak in the Philippines has ended officially.”