Panay News

‘Catch-up’ immunizati­on targets over 52K WV kids

- By Glenda Tayona

ILOILO City – Over 52,000 children below two years old are the targets for the catch-up immunizati­on of the Department of Health (DOH).

The immunizati­on started last month in Iloilo and Negros Occidental as priority areas, according to Dr. Daphynie Teorima, coordinato­r for the Child Health and National Immunizati­on Program of DOH Region 6.

The two provinces were prioritize­d because of the high number of projected unvaccinat­ed or partially vaccinated children.

Due to the short notice, however, some local government units failed to schedule or conduct the catchup i mmunizatio­n, and more so because they have already scheduled vaccinatio­n activities for coronaviru­s disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Of the 80 percent target of the total 12,000 kids in Iloilo and 15, 000 in Negros Occidental, the accomplish­ment rate is only at three percent.

The routine immunizati­on for the catch-up immunizati­on are BCG and Hepatitis B vaccines at birth; and the Pentavalen­t vaccine for diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, influenza B, and Hepatitis B for six weeks, 10 weeks, and 14 week-old babies.

Also included iare the vaccines for pneumonia and meningitis during 6, 10, and 14 weeks; oral polio vaccine for 14 weeks, and the MMR or the measles, mumps, and rubella at nine months and one year old.

“I think our local government units will be more prepared na for this May’s catch-up immunizati­on. This time ang aton intention is balikan ang mga bata nga na- miss ang ila mga doses. That is why ‘ catch- up’ activity sya,” said Teorima.

Because of the short notice to LGUs, barangay health workers have not fully accounted the eligible children for the immunizati­on in their respective barangays.

Another factor seen for the low turnout is the over-projection of the number of eligible children who were not registered.

Teorima explained that some of the children are transient that’s why it is hard to account and validate them.

She added that the regional office is hopeful that by this May, there will be stronger awareness especially among parents about the catch- up immunizati­on so they could register their children.

They will also convene again the LGUs to assess and discuss if there is a need to re-strategize.

Meanwhile, there are around 4, 000 projected number of children for catch-up immunizati­on in Aklan; around 5,000 in Antique; around 6,200 in Capiz; 659 in Guimaras;

TEORIMA around 5,800 in Bacolod City; and around 2,000 in Iloilo City. report from PNA/ PN)

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