SAFEGUARD EVERY CHILD FROM VACCINE-PREVENTABLE DISEASES
Parents and guardians should support the government’s initiative to prevent a foreseen outbreak of diseases such as measles-rubella and polio that victimize children, especially those without access to health services.
We laud the Department of Health for the roll out on Oct. 26 of the measles-rubella and polio vaccination that does not only intend to protect children below five years old from the diseases, but also to arrest an outbreak that has been projected by the World Health Organization if measures are not taken up with urgency.
We share the call of experts in public health for parents and guardians to subject their kids to the month-long mass immunization. The horrible impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic that we are still reeling from should be enough to convince them to act proactively.
We acknowledge the fears by some parents and guardians on vaccination as a result of the dengvaxia fiasco, but we should not allow this unfounded concern to be the reason to deprive children of their right to be protected from diseases that might threaten their future.
More importantly, the effectiveness of the vaccines against the viruses that cause polio and measles-rubella has been established. As the DOH says, these vaccines are tried and tested as shown by the decades that they have been protecting children from the diseases.
There should be no reason, therefore, for parents and guardians to deprive their children of protection from these life-threatening diseases.
The daily increase in the Covid-19 cases already sends shivers down our spine; let us not add to this health crisis by allowing an increase, much more another outbreak, in communicable and vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles and polio to happen.
Already, the Philippines has documented a reemergence of polio last year, almost two decades after the country was declared free of this debilitating disease. The DOH has also declared an outbreak of measles in Metro Manila in the first two months last year. These outbreaks should not occur, especially for diseases that can be prevented and especially at a time where every sector of society is still picking up the pieces from the devastation wrought by a novel virus.
The supplemental polio and measles-rubella immunization should not be taken for granted. It is the government’s proactive measure to ensure the health and well-being of its people, the younger generation in particular.
For a month, healthcare providers would be stationed at the health centers, barangay halls, and other temporary vaccination facilities in every barangay for the mass immunization in line with the effort to reach every qualified child and provide them protection from the polio and measles-rubella viruses.
The schedule is spread out in various dates to avoid crowding in these facilities amidst threat of the Covid-19. The only obligation of parents and guardians in this effort is to bring their children to the vaccination centers.
Just as the government is fulfilling its mandate of protecting its people, we hope concerned parents and guardians will also do their part in helping ensure the children’s health and well-being by subjecting them to this month-long free vaccination.