CEBU CITY, Jan. 13 (PIA) -- The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) urged parents to participate in the Measles, Rubella and Oral Poliomyelitis Vaccine (MR-OPV) Supplemental Immunization Activity in the region to protect their children against these vaccine-preventable diseases.
The DOH, in partnership with the Relief International (RI) and various local government units (LGUs) in the region, will roll out the Phase 2 of the nationwide MR-OPV immunization drive for the whole month of February to reach the targeted 95 percent of the children-beneficiaries.
During the Kapihan sa PIA on Jan. 12, DOH-7 Immunization Medical Coordinator Dr. Joan Antonette Albito said the target population is 693,210 for MR and 815,641 for OPV in Central Visayas.
She said the campaign will target children who have already been vaccinated and those yet to be vaccinated.
"Regardless of their immunization status, pwede silang mabakunahan (they can still be vaccinated)," Albito added.
She said the vaccine will be given to children below five years old.
The MR vaccine will be given to children 9 to 59 months old while 0 to 59 months old will be provided with OPV.
The DOH officer said for MR, the most common side effect is pain or soreness on the injected side, meanwhile, there is no side effect for OPV.
However, she emphasized "like other medications, we cannot say nga 100 percent dili mag develop og adverse reaction ang pasyente (that a patient will not develop any adverse reaction)" but the risk of contracting the virus and developing complications is much higher than the possibility of developing the side effect.
Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world.
It can cause high-grade fever, rashes, cough, eye infection and can lead to complications such as pneumonia, ear infection, blindness, severe diarrhea, and swelling of the brain.
Rubella can cause low-grade fever, weakness of body, swelling of lymph nodes (lymphadenopathies), rashes, and eye infection.
Polio, on the other hand, is a potentially debilitating disease that causes fever, neck stiffness, muscle weakness, and can eventually lead to lifelong paralysis.
Albito added that parents who want to avail of the vaccine can go directly to the fixed posts or health facilities such as the rural health unit, outpatient department of the hospital, and barangay health station.
She also said there are temporary posts identified by LGUs like the barangay halls or activity centers, among others.
The DOH partnered with RI for the activity to also educate and assure parents that the vaccine is safe, effective, and will help boost their children's immune system.
Lester Ouano, Communication for Development of RI, encouraged everyone eligible to join the activity since there is no masterlist.
He said the RI has been identifying hard-to-reach, high-risk areas and gated communities to endorse and educate people of this campaign.
RI is a humanitarian non-government organization that provides emergency relief, economic rehabilitation, development assistance, and program services to vulnerable communities worldwide.
Other regions included in the Phase 2 for MR-OPV are Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, and Eastern Visayas.
Also, the National Capitol Region will be provided with an MR vaccine.
The Phase 1 was conducted on Oct. 26 to Nov. 25, 2020 in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Mimaropa, Bicol Region, and Cordillera Administrative Region.
The kickoff activity will be on Feb. 1, 2021 in Consolacion, Cebu. (idc/PIA7)