DOH assures enough vaccine against polio

September 24, 2019
Polio vaccine
Philippine health Secretary Francisco Duque (C) administers an polio vaccine during a anti-polio campaign in Manila on September 20, 2019. The Philippines has detected its first case of polio since 2001, officials said September 19, putting some of the blame on mistrust stoked by a dengue fever vaccine scandal. / AFP / TED ALJIBE

THE Department of Health and the World Health Organization have joined hands for an effective response to the polio outbreak in the country, a health official said Tuesday.

Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said they will finalize in a meeting the exact number of vaccines to be needed.

“Today mayroon po tayong meeting, ang DOH at WHO, to finalize kung ilan pong eksaktong vaccines ang kakailanganin natin, They (WHO) promised po, kumpleto, lahat ng kakailanganin natin. WHO will be able to provide. Lahat po ng batang dapat mabakunahan, mabibigyan po natin,” he said.

Last week, the DOH confirmed the re-emergence of polio in the country after nearly two decades of being declared free from the crippling infectious disease.

Two children from Lanao del Sur and Laguna were diagnosed with polio.

Seven suspected cases of polio were also reported in Zamboanga on Monday.

The WHO expressed concern on the return of polio in the country and vowed to help prevent its spread by donating vaccines.

“The polio outbreak in the Philippines is confirmed to be from a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2. This is of particular concern, as wild poliovirus type 2 was certified as globally eradicated in 2015,” WHO said in a statement.

As a rapid response to the polio outbreak, simultaneous vaccination programs for children under five years old will be mounted in Metro Manila, Davao, and Lanao del Sur next month.

The DOH said it targets to vaccinate 5.5 million Filipino children.