As part of of the city’s continuous pursuit for a healthy lifestyle for the Pamilyang Valenzuelano, the City Government of Valenzuela led by Mayor WES Gatchalian, the City Health Office, and Barangay Canumay West, launched a month-long “Chikiting Ligtas sa Dagdag Bakuna Kontra Polio, Rubella, at Tigdas” campaign at 3S Center, Barangay Canumay West on May 2, 2023.
Last April 27, as part of the World Immunization Week, the Department of Health (DOH), together with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and World Health Organization (WHO) launched “Chikiting Ligtas 2023: Join the Big Catch Up, Magpabakuna para sa Healthy Pilipinas!”, a nationwide free supplemental immunization campaign that aims to vaccinate children against Measles, Rubella, and Polio. It will also serve as an additional dose of protection to children even to those who have received it in the past.
According to DOH, more than 9 million children aged 9 months old to 59 months old (5 years old below) are eligible to receive the Measles-Rubella Vaccine, while more than 11 million children aged 0 to 59 months old (5 years old and below) are eligible to receive the Oral Polio Vaccine. With the high number of vaccination hesitancy, a big decline in the vaccination rate of children in the country from 87% in 2014 to 68% in 2019 made the Philippines one of the countries with the highest number of unvaccinated children in 2021.
In his message, City Health Officer Dr. Marthony Basco encouraged the parents saying, “Ang mga babae po, kapag nagkaroon ng Rubella o German Measles, hindi po kayo magkakasakit pero ang inyong ipinagbubuntis, bulag, maliit ang ulo, o kaya naman ay butas ang puso. Ang gusto po natin ang mga anak natin ay matalino, nakakakita at aktibo, makukuha po natin ang proteksyon sa pamamagitan ng bakuna. Ang mga babaeng mas bata sa limang taon na ating babakunahan ngayon ay habambuhay na protektado sa Rubella at ang kanyang ipagbubuntis sa hinaharap ay hindi magkakaroon ng komplikasyon ng Rubella. Ang ginagawa po natin ngayon ay para sa kinabukasan ng buong Valenzuela, kaya naman pinasasalamatan natin si Mayor WES Gatchalian at ang DOH para sa mga dala nilang bakuna. Dahil dito sa Valenzuela, hindi lang Tuloy ang Progreso, Pamilyang Valenzuelano ang ating inaalagaan. [When women are infected with German Measles, you will not be sick but the baby you are carrying will be, they will either be blind, will have small head, or will have a defective heart. We want our children to be smart, healthy, and active, and we can be protected by these vaccines. All the girls below 5 years old who will be vaccinated today will be protected against Rubella for life, and their children in the future will likewise be protected against its complications. We are doing this for the future of Valenzuela City, that is why we are thanking Mayor WES Gatchalian and DOH for the vaccines they brought here. Because here in Valenzuela, it’s not just continued progress, but we are also taking care of the Valenzuelano Families.]
The month-long vaccination campaign will run until May 31, local health stations will be open to cater walk-in patients and a house-to-house vaccination drive will also be held to reach a more eligible population. Parents are advised to bring the vaccination cards of their children when going to the vaccination sites, but they will also be provided when necessary.
Also present during the kick-off ceremony of the supplemental vaccination campaign were Canumay West Punong Barangay Mario San Andres, DOH Representative Ms. Glizelle Bercacio, Valenzuela City National Immunization Program Medical Coordinator Dr. Andrea Gamalinda, and several Health Education and Promotion Officers (HEPOs) of Valenzuela City.