TO ADDRESS the drop of immunization coverage in Central Visayas, the Department of Health (DOH) 7 launched the “Chikiting Ligtas” Measles, Rubella, Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity at the Consolacion Covered Court on Jan. 29, 2021.
Phase two of the supplemental immunization activity will be on Feb. 1 to 28.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Board Member Glenn Soco, Consolacion Mayor Joannes Alegado and the DOH officials signed a pledge of support during the launching.
In a press conference, Dr. Jonathan Neil Erasmo, division chief of the DOH 7’s Local Health Support, said the entire Visayas region recorded a drop of accomplishment in terms of vaccination based on the data from 2018.
He said the vaccination target is 95 percent but due to the pandemic, the DOH was challenged to launch phase two.
Dr. Christina Giango, head of the Integrated Provincial Health Office, said due to the lockdown, the immunization in some municipalities stopped and the mothers were also afraid to bring their children to the health center.
With this, Giango said the supplemental immunization activity is necessary to complete the immunization of the children, who have missed their immunization due to the granular lockdowns.
Garcia said aside from the pandemic, the Dengvaxia controversy has also pulled back the national vaccination program.
Due to this, the faith and trust of the parents in vaccination have decreased from 82 percent in 2015 to 21 percent, said Garcia.
On the other hand, Giango said the DOH 7 has provided the logistics and equipment, which have been distributed to the local government units in the province of Cebu as early as December 2020.
During the launching, mothers from Consolacion, Cebu brought their kids and participated in the simultaneous ceremonial vaccination.
Princess Calabo, 31, a resident of Purok Batong, Brgy. Danglan, Consolacion Cebu, said she is aware that most mothers are afraid to have their child vaccinated amid the pandemic.
But in her case, she said she still wants her child vaccinated because she believes that it is for her child’s protection against other diseases like polio, measles and others.
Calabo and her child also participated in the kick-off ceremony of the “Chikiting Ligtas.”
From Feb. 1 to 28, the DOH 7 will conduct the fixed post for vaccination that will take place in all barangay health centers and rural health units, which will be accessible to the parents, said Erasmo.
Those who have not yet completed their vaccination or those who have missed their vaccination will be assisted by the health workers at the nearest health facilities. / KFD