UNICEF urges parents: Vaccinate children against measles

Maricruz Casares
Febrero 9, 2019

Based on validated data, Duque said 575 cases including nine deaths have been recorded in Calabarzon, a figure that represented a 2,538 increase over the measles cases reported previous year. "It has significantly dropped, considering that January previous year, we had 141 cases", she said.

The DOH also reported 575 cases and nine deaths in Calabarzon, up from 21 cases and no deaths from January 1 to January 26, 2018. In addition, 861 suspected cases have been reported in the Metro Manila area during the first month of the year.

The DOH said there was "low vaccine coverage because of the Dengvaxia scare".

The DOH earlier admitted that their vaccination coverage rate had dropped to 60 percent following the controversy surrounding Dengvaxia with parents refusing to have their children vaccinated for fear that they would suffer adverse side effects. Senators JV Ejercito and Nancy Binay urged parents to have their children vaccinated against infectious diseases in the wake of the measles outbreak.

Amid the outbreak, the House of Representatives also on Friday approved on second reading an act expanding the coverage of the mandatory basic immunization program and providing a system in the determination of other types of vaccine-preventable diseases, amending Republic Act (RA) 10152 or the "Mandatory Infants and Children Health Immunization Act of 2011".

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"Vaccinations to prevent measles is available free of cost in government health centers".

"Our children are protected so there is no cause for concern", said a statement by the Federal Health Ministry. "You know, the President is always affected by any negative outcome that relates to children". The move was welcomed by presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo Thursday, even as he acknowledged that Acosta may have scared the public from getting immunized.

The justice department filed criminal charges against more than 30 health officials for the deaths of about 100 children which a probe by the Public Attorney's Office had linked to Dengvaxia.

"I think it might be questioned before the courts somehow", he said. "As far as she is concerned, she is doing her job of protecting the parents of the [children who] she perceived to be dying by reason of Dengvaxia".

As early as December previous year, health experts warned against a possible outbreak of measles in the Philippines due to the declining trust in vaccines in the wake of a controversy that hounded a dengue immunization program in 2017. The party-list group Anakalusugan supported the call for an intensified campaign to promote vaccination of children.

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