The city government of Marikina on Monday urged parents of around 40,000 children, aged below five years old, to bring them to the city’s barangay health centers so they could get oral polio vaccine (OPV) amid concerns on the reemergence of polio in other parts of the country.
Mayor Marcelino Teodoro made the call after the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) asked local government units (LGUs) in the Philippines to help promote polio vaccination in their cities.
On the same day, Teodoro administered oral anti-polio vaccines to around 200 children at the Barangay Sto. Niño covered court.
“Ito’y initiative na natin ng ating komunidad na magkaroon ng (This is an initiative of our community, to have an) oral polio vaccination (drive). Dalawang patak sa bibig ng mga batang five years old pababa (Only 2 drops for children five years old and below). Ito ay magbibigay sa inyo ng panlaban sa (This will give them protection against) polio,” Teodoro told parents.
“Mahal po natin ang ating mga anak. Kaya hindi pa man nangyayari sa ating lungsod, wala pa man po tayong kaso ng polio, gumagawa na po tayo ng paraan para maiwasan ito at hindi po ito mangyari sa atin (We love our children. That is why this early when we still do not have any polio case in our city, we are doing something to prevent it),” he added.
Teodoro reminded parents to complete the three types of vaccines against polio.
The mayor stressed that taking the anti-polio vaccine is very safe, and the public should not be afraid to have their children vaccinated.
“This is a vaccine. Mabisa po itong panlaban sa polio at higit sa lahat, ligtas po ito. Target natin sa Marikina ay 40,000 na mga bata kailangan mapatakan at mabigyan sila ng polio vaccine (This is effective against polio and it is safe. In Marikina, we target to give anti- polio vaccines to 40,000 children),” he said.
The mayor had ordered massive information drive about the importance of vaccination as there remains to be no cure for polio.
“We will hold a massive information drive and advocacy campaign. We will explain what polio is and how can it be prevented. We will also conduct a massive social mobilization. Our health centers will give polio vaccines in schools, daycare centers, communities, and subdivisions,” he noted.
After 19 years of being declared as polio-free by the World Health Organization, the Department of Health (DOH) last week confirmed that the disease re-emerged in the Philippines.
The second and latest confirmed case of polio in the country was a five-year-old boy in Laguna.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the agency would intensify its vaccination campaign against polio. (PNA)