DOH gets 5M measles doses from Prince of Wales

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

THE Department of Health (DOH) literally got a shot in the arm for its measles immunization campaign later this year after receiving five million doses of the measles-rubella (MR) vaccine from the Prince of Wales.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona said the doses will be utilized for the mass immunization campaign scheduled in September this year.

"This donation will be part of the vaccines needed for 13 million under-five children during a mass immunization campaign," said Ona in a statement.


To recall, a mass immunization versus measles is already set for September this year in a bid to vaccinate all children below five years old and ensure that they received the two doses of the measles vaccine.

"Children below 5 years old are most at risk from measles," noted Ona.

This is the fitting follow up to the measles catch-up vaccination campaign conducted earlier in the year in response to the sudden increase in the number of measles cases around the country, particularly in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces in Region 3 and 4-A.

An estimated two million children aged six months to three years old were the identified target of the three-week vaccination campaign.

According to the Measles Surveillance Report of the DOH – National Epidemiology Center (NEC), there were 3,734 confirmed measles cases have been reported from January 1 to February 22 of the year.

The number is a combination of the 1,928 that have been laboratory confirmed and another 1,806 epidemiology-linked confirmed cases of measles.

Twenty-three of the measles cases died, according to the DOH.

Meanwhile, still awaiting for confirmation are 9,568 reported measles cases reported all over the country.

So far, only 531 reported cases have been discarded as being non-measles cases.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus and easily spreads from person-to-person by sneezing, coughing, and close personal contact.

Signs and symptoms include cough, runny nose, red and sore eyes, fever, and a blotchy rash lasting for more than three days. (HDT/Sunnex)

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