The chief of the Department of Health office in Negros Oriental has called on parents to avail of the government’s free anti-measles immunization amid an outbreak of the disease in some parts of the province.
Dr. Socrates Villamor, provincial DOH chief, said Tuesday that some Rural Health Units began on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the “outbreak immunization response” in at least six towns and one city in Negros Oriental where cases of measles had been confirmed.
Villamor said health workers will conduct house-to-house visitation to administer the free anti-measles vaccine for children who have not been immunized, or who have not received the full dose of immunization for measles.
He said the government is continuing its measles immunization program, even if the number of cases had been drastically reduced and even eliminated in certain areas in the past years, as part of the government’s desire to make the Philippines measles-free.
The vaccine is part of routine immunization for children, he said.
Villamor said that routine immunization for children consists of a first dose of the MR (measles-rubella) vaccine, given at nine months old, and the second dose, the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine, given at 12 to 15 months old.
For protection against measles, a child/person must have received the two doses, he also said.
Most vulnerable to measles are children aged five and below, Villamor said, noting, however, that recent cases of measles in Negros Oriental have affected adults, with the youngest patient about 18 years old.
Villamor said he believes that the adults may not have received or completed the anti-measles containment vaccines.
The DOH has reported 21 cases of measles, with 12 “suspect” and nine “laboratory-confirmed”, spread out in the provincial capital, Dumaguete City, and the municipalities of Bacong, Mabinay, Sta. Catalina, San Jose, Siaton, and Valencia.*PNA
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