Provincial Government of Bulacan

Bulacan intensifies polio vaccination

CITY OF MALOLOS- Despite having zero polio cases in Bulacan, the Provincial Government of Bulacan through the Provincial Health Office-Public Health still intensifies its polio vaccination program to increase the coverage of fully immunized children and ensure that all children in the province is protected.

This was after the two-decade polio-free record of the country has ended and led to the declaration of polio outbreak in September.

Governor Daniel R. Fernando said that the PHO-PH started the catch-up immunization since October until December 2019.

“Bagaman hindi tayo kasama sa synchronized polio vaccination na ginagawa ng DOH, ginawa natin ‘to para makatulong sa bansa at masigurado na walang magiging kaso ng polyo sa Bulacan. Sa ngayon, ‘yung pagbabakunang ginagawa natin ay doon sa mga defaulter na mga batang limang taong gulang pababa na hindi nakabalik sa tamang araw ng bakuna,” Fernando said.

Based on the records of the PHO-PH, only 63 percent were vaccinated in Bulacan, which was 32 percent lower than the 95 percent target for a province to be labelled with herd immunity.

“Maraming dahilan kung bakit bumaba ‘yung accomplishment ng Expanded Program on Immunization gaya ng hindi eligible for vaccination, no vaccine available, busy ang nanay, nakalimutan ang schedule, takot sa side effects, maysakit ‘yung bata o lumipat ng bahay,” Dr. Jocelyn Gomez explained.

According to the World Health Organization, polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that invades the nervous system, and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. The virus is transmitted by person-to-person spread mainly through the fecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (for example, contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine.

It is also stated that oral polio vaccine (OPV) is a safe and effective vaccine that has saved millions of lives over the years but if a population is not sufficiently immunized, the weakened virus can continue to circulate. The polio outbreak in the Philippines is confirmed to be from a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2.

Meanwhile, the PHO-PH encouraged everyone to go to the nearest health centers for more information and vaccination of children five years old and below.