A total of 198,686 children remain unvaccinated against polio in Calabarzon as the “Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio (SPKP)” campaign concluded last September.
“The Department of Health (DOH) – Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) in its October 12, 2020 report has achieved 83.23 % vaccination coverage or a total of 986,319 from a target of 1,185,005 children aged 0-59 months old,” Regional Director Eduardo Janairo reported.
The province of Laguna has a polio vaccination coverage of 87.91% (363,597) with 43,964 unvaccinated children; Rizal province has 86.34% or 369,303 with 50,408 unvaccinated and Cavite province has the lowest with 76.94% or 452,105 with 104,264 unvaccinated children.
“Among the reasons why these children were not given the polio vaccine was because they were not at home during the scheduled visit of the vaccination teams. Also, some parents cannot decide for themselves alone and need to seek the approval of their husband or spouses and some are too sick to receive the vaccine and health workers need to defer their vaccination,” said Janairo.
“Others refused vaccination due to fear of the vaccine and its side effects. This was brought about by the Dengvaxia scare a few years ago and there is also the religious and cultural belief,” Janairo said.
“There are also outright refusals without reasons by parents when visited by ‘Bakuna Doors’,” said Janairo.
“These are the details that we will resolve because these unvaccinated children need to be saved. We need to provide them the protection and care they need. It is an essential part of primary health care and also their guaranteed human right,” he said.
“That is why we still continue to seek these unvaccinated children and explain to their parents the importance of the polio vaccine because we need to give them protection from a very contagious virus that can lead to paralysis,” he assured.
The “Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio (SPKP)” campaign was held on August 3 to 17, 2020 for the first round and September 14 – 27, 2020 for the second round in the provinces of Laguna, Rizal and Cavite where polio cases where identified.
The regional office also conducted a “Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio Photo-Liking Contest” with the objective of promoting proper administration of mOPV (Polio Vaccine), observance of the infection control prevention measures and the dedication of vaccinators in promoting the SPKP campaign amid the COVID-19 Pandemic for all health workers in the region. The pictures were posted in the regional office’s Facebook page. The most number of “likes” was declared the winner.