By Franz Remar Garion
The Department of Health (DOH) is enjoining all local government units (LGUs) in Western Visayas to participate in the nationwide Chikiting Bakunation Days: National Vaccination Days (NVD-CBD) for the Routine and Catch-Up Immunization on May 26 and 27 and on June 23 and 24, 2022.
The activity aims to catch up on immunization among children up to 23 months or under two years old to prevent the imminent outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases.
The antigens to be given for childhood primary series include the BCG, Pentavalent, Oral Polio, Inactivated Polio, PCV, and Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccines.
Each province and city of the region has the allocation for each vaccine and the needed ancillaries for the said schedules.
Each vaccination team across the region has a target of 80 to 100 children to be immunized per day or a total of 52,228 for the whole Western Visayas.
The province of Negros Occidental has the highest target to catch up with 15,628 children; followed by Iloilo province with 12,766; Capiz – 6,212; Bacolod City – 5,802; Antique – 5,005; Aklan – 4,136; Iloilo City – 2,020; and Guimaras – 659 children.
Based on DOH 6 data presented by Dr. Daphynie Teorima of the DOH 6, the number of fully immunized children in 2021 accounts for only 64.36% of the regional target, which is lower than the 70.94% accomplishment in 2020.
Priority areas for this activity are the provinces of Iloilo and Negros Occidental which both have more than 10,000 missed children on April 28 and 29 NVD-CBD.
Both provinces also noted the most number of measles cases in the region based on the data from January 1 to March 31, 2022.
Of the same period, nine of the 12 measles cases in the region are unimmunized or had unknown status, and five of them are below one year old.
To further focus government efforts for the 2-day catch-up immunization, all other programs and COVID-19
vaccination that involves LGUs and public health care workers are put on hold on the mentioned dates.
The private sectors and the government hospitals are also enjoined to partner with the health officers for service delivery and demand generation as part of the whole-society and whole-of-government approach for the simultaneous COVID and non-COVID vaccinations. (PIA)