THE GOVERNMENT will start a vaccination drive for German measles on Oct. 26 to avert a potential outbreak next year, according to the Department of Health (DoH).
Children will also get vaccine shots for polio, which Health authorities have failed to tame this year amid a coronavirus outbreak, Maria Wilda T. Silva, an immunization program manager at the agency, told an online news briefing on Wednesday.
The first phase of the program will end on Nov. 25 and will cover Mindanao, the Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region, Mimaropa and Bicol Region.
The second phase, which will start in February next year, will cover the Visayas region, National Capital Region, Central Luzon and Calabarzon.
DoH said Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Central Luzon and Western Visayas are hotspots for measles and the coronavirus, which will be challenging for the immunization program.
Health authorities will try to reach 4.3 million children aged nine to 59 months for the German measles vaccine, and 2.1 million children aged zero to 59 months for the polio vaccine under the first phase.
DoH said 2.4 million children under five are at risk of getting measles. Symptoms include high fever, rashes, cough and eye infection.
Polio, causes neck and muscle weakness that can lead to paralysis. The disease has affected 27 children since an outbreak was declared in September last year. — CAT