/ 25 September 2022

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian urged local government units to ramp up their programs to increase children’s immunization coverage and prevent the outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases.

He also called on the government to expand its vaccination coverage considering the Covid19 pandemic’s disruption of immunization programs.

“Maraming beses nang napatunayan ng agham na ligtas at mabisa ang mga bakuna laban sa pagkakasakit. Kaya naman sa tulong ng ating mga lokal na pamahalaan, dapat nating tiyakin na ang ating mga programa para sa pagbabakuna ay maabot lahat ng mga sanggol,” Gatchalian said.

The Department of Health reported that 1 million children in the Philippines under the age of one remain unvaccinated.

The Philippines is one of 10 countries with the lowest immunization rate of children in the world.

Gatchalian cited the role of local governments in helping ensure the efficient rollout of vaccination programs.

The government’s Expanded Program on Immunization employs the Reaching Every Barangay Strategy to improve access to routine immunization.

The EPI seeks to ensure that all health facilities, including health centers and barangay health stations, have at least one staff trained on the REB.

The Mandatory Infants and Children Health Immunization Act of 2011 mandates LGUs to ensure that appropriate information materials are available for distribution to the public.