Immunization drive pushes through in Manila amid COVID-19 pandemic

By December 18, 2020 No Comments

Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – An immunization drive, particularly against measles, is being done by the City of Manila amid the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of children and other vulnerable sectors.

According to Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, the immunization program is aimed at preventing other illnesses from spreading while the local and national government has its hands full of other matters like fighting the COVID-19 outbreak.

The World Health Organization (WHO) earlier warned that the lockdowns and the community quarantines all over the world, which lasted over a month for some countries including the Philippines, may adversely affect the immunization schedules of children.

Such problems would make children not only vulnerable to COVID-19, but to other curable diseases like measles.

As of now, 798 residents across 11 barangays in Manila had been administered with the anti-measles vaccine.

“Kasabay n’yan, the swabbing, the rapid testing, massive, eh hindi rin po tayo nagpapabaya sa ibang sakit na maaaring kumalat din.  Tuloy-tuloy po ang catch-up immunization program na tungkol sa measles,” Moreno said.

(Along with the swabbing, the massive rapid testing, we will not be negligent on the possibility that other contagious diseases may spread.  The city’s catch-up immunization program about measles continues.)

“Today meron ho tayong 235 na indibidwal na nabakunahan, nagkaro’n tayo ng immunization activity.  Ang total po natin, sa ikatlong araw na natin, ay [798] na indibidwal,” he added.

(Today, we have vaccinated 235 individuals in our immunization activity.  On our third day, we now have a total of 798 individuals vaccinated.)

Measles, the WHO said, is a highly contagious and a serious viral disease caused by a virus from the paramyxovirus family.  It is contracted through direct contact and through the air, and then infects the respiratory tract and the rest of the body.

Children appear the most susceptible to measles.  While vaccines are readily available, WHO recorded more than 140,000 deaths due to measles, most of those concerned are children below the age of five.

Previously, the Department of Health urged parents not to skip the vaccines of their children, especially for measles and other dangerous ailments like polio and diphtheria.

“It is important that children are vaccinated to prevent them from getting sick. COVID-19 can easily infect anyone who is sick or has a compromised immune system,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing last April 26.

In terms of the fight against COVID-19, Moreno said that Manila has done 3,627 swab tests through the RT-PCR testing, and another 5,518 using rapid testing kits.

As of now, Manila has recorded 811 COVID-19 cases, 598 of which are active.

The DOH said on Thursday that there are 10,343 patients infected across the country, with 685 of them dead and 1,618 have recovered.  Worldwide, over 3.76 million individuals are confirmed to have COVID-19, while at least 263,932 have died from the disease and over 1.24 million have recovered from it.


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TAGS: 2019 Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, Children, coronavirus strain, COVID-19, Department of Health, ECQ, enhanced community quarantine, immunization drive, immunization program, lockdown, Manila, Mayor Isko Moreno, measles, nCoV update, Philippine news updates, Vaccination, vaccine, WHO, World Health Organization
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