Philippines launches vaccine drive for kids against non-Covid diseases

Poor surveillance of diseases such as measles, as most efforts are geared towards Covid-19, was also cited as a factor for rising cases.

Gabriel Pabico Lalu

Gabriel Pabico Lalu

Philippine Daily Inquirer


Facade of the DOH main office in Manila. file photo

April 28, 2022

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) has launched the Chikiting Bakunation Days — a vaccination drive for children aged six months to 59 months old (4.91 years) against non-COVID diseases.

The drive was launched after the DOH Epidemiology Bureau gathered data showing the incidence of measles in all regions in 2021, Dr. Joannah Boralio, Medical Officer III of the National Immunization Program (NIP), said in a briefing on Wednesday.

This indicates poor vaccination coverage against measles and a possibility of an outbreak if the trend could not be reversed, Boralio noted.

“So noticeable also in the report is that most of the measles cases are actually [in children] six to 59 months old, that are unvaccinated or with unknown vaccination status,” she said. “So this translates to a huge amount of cohorts that are really susceptible to vaccine-preventable diseases or VPDs such as measles.”

According to Boralio, the rise in measles cases and other VPDs may be partly due to the higher mobility of the public since restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have been eased.

However, this may also result in people, especially children, getting infected with other ailments aside from COVID-19.




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