/ 26 October 2021

THE DEPARTMENT of Health, along with the World Health Organization, UNICEF and Rotary International, urged parents to have their children vaccinated against preventable diseases, particularly polio.

“While we have successfully eradicated polio, we have to ensure that there will never be an outbreak again and it begins with vaccination,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.

“We call on the parents to ensure that your child gets their routine immunization so they can be protected against polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases,” he added.

Last June, the department announced the end of the polio outbreak following 18 months of outbreak response that resulted in the vaccination of over 11 million children.

Children under one year old receive their primary doses of the polio vaccines during routine immunization – three doses of polio drops and one dose of inactivated polio vaccine.

However, in 2020, nearly half a million Filipino children missed out on oral polio drops because of the pandemic.

“This month, the DOH has launched the ‘Catch-up Routine Immunization’ to ensure delivery of National Immunization Program services to children. Ang mga bakuna po for routine immunization ay ligtas at libre, makipag-ugnayan lamang po sa local health centers sa inyong lugar,” Duque said.

WHO Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said it is important to prevent another outbreak of certain diseases.

“We should do everything necessary to prevent another outbreak of polio or any other vaccine- preventable disease such as measles, rubella, diphtheria. The lives and health of our children are at stake,” Abeyasinghe stressed.

“Our plea to parents: please ensure that your children have received all the routine childhood vaccines including polio doses as we prepare for them to go back to schools and early learning centers,” he added.