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130K children in Eastern Visayas are not immunized against measles.

A week before the mass vaccination campaign against measles and rubella ends, the Department of Health (DOH) stated that 130,886 preschoolers in Eastern Visayas are still waiting for their dose.

The national immunization program manager for DOH 8 (Eastern Visayas), Elena Villarosa, reported that the vaccine campaign from May 1 to 23 immunized at least 279,615 kids or 67 percent of the 417,478 target population who are five years old or less.

“With the help of local government representatives, federal government agencies, the private sector, parents, and guardians, we are pleased with the turnout. At least 80% of the target population should be covered by the end of May; we are optimistic, Villarosa told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview.

There are 49,334 unvaccinated children in Leyte province, followed by 21,717 in Northern Samar, 17,803 in Samar, 12,313 in Southern Leyte, and 11,453 in Tacloban City, making up the top five places with the highest number of unvaccinated children.

“Due to the high heat, we are conducting extensive vaccination campaigns that even go house-to-house and prolong the immunization hours. For the convenience of working parents, vaccination is also available on weekends, she added.

Additionally, the campaign offers oral polio immunizations to kids in Eastern Visayas cities and major towns.

As of May 23, roughly 180,446 kids have received the anti-polio vaccine or 37% of the goal.

Villarosa emphasized that there is no cure for polio, rubella, or measles and that vaccination is the only reliable way to stop an outbreak.

Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world, characterized by high-grade fever, rashes, cough, sore eyes, and runny nose. Complications from measles include pneumonia, blindness, severe diarrhea, brain swelling, and even death.

On the other hand, polio is a potentially crippling illness that results in fever, stiffness in the neck, and muscle weakness, in addition to the possibility of permanent paralysis.

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