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Close the immunity gap among children using catch-up vaccination

CITY OF ILOILO – This May and June, the Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH WV CHD) will expand its catch-up immunization program to additional provinces in the region to address the vaccine-preventable disease gap for almost 52,000 children under the age of two.

“Our 2021 data shows that we have 64.36 percent coverage. This is the second-lowest level since 2015, a significant drop from our 2020 forecast (70.94 percent). In a virtual press conference on Wednesday, National Immunization Program (NIP) medical coordinator Dr. Daphynie Teorima said, “There is an increasing immunity gap that we need to fill, which is why we are doing our catch-up immunization.”

“Because of the short notice to our LGUs (local government units), our achievement is admittedly below the targeted,” Teorima noted.

Last year, 94,317 of the 146,545 youngsters who were eligible for the primary series immunization received it before turning one year old.

This means that approximately 52,000 children under the age of two are at danger of contracting or spreading vaccine-preventable diseases in the region.

They started the “Chikiting Bakuna” catch-up immunization for 12,766 Iloilo children and 15, 628 Negros Occidental children in April.

The catch-up immunization program will be carried out every last Thursday and Friday of the month in May and June.

Depending on the method of the implementers, children will be vaccinated at fixed locations, modified fixed sites, or door-to-door.

Those who have not received the primary series will receive antigens such as BCG against tuberculosis, pentavalent, oral polio, inactivated polio, and measles-mumps-rubella vaccinations.

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