Duterte orders ‘vigorous’ immunization drive amid measles outbreak

Duterte orders ‘vigorous’ immunization drive amid measles outbreak

Two days after the declaration of the outbreak of Measles in five regions, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has ordered the health department to spearhead a “vigorous” campaign to promote immunization in the whole country.
Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Salvador Panelo has confirmed that this is one of the marching orders of the President during the 34th cabinet meeting in Malacanang palace.

DOH Sec. Duque (inset) Vaccination is still the best solution for measles (photo credit to owner)

Panelo has acknowledged the fears among parents having their child vaccinated brought about by the Dengvaxia scandal.
 “The President ordered a vigorous campaign to promote the complete immunization for children. I think one of the reasons why we have an outbreak of measles is because of the lack of immunization on the part of children,” Panelo said.
“I think that the Secretary (Francisco Duque III) was saying that the—some of our people are reluctant to undergo immunization by reason of the Dengvaxia scandal,” he added.
Panelo said Duterte was “saddened” by the widespread outbreak of measles in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, and Central Visayas and has caused the deaths of hundreds of children.
Of course, he was saddened. You know the President is always affected by any negative outcome that relates to children -- he said, that’s why he said it should be addressed immediately,” Atty. Panelo said.

Info Campaign

To put things in order and lessen the fear if not eradicate that fear with vaccinations, the DOH will worth with  the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) in informing the public about the benefits of vaccines and how DOH findings show that Dengvaxia may not cause the deaths of children after all.
According to Secretary Duque, their findings show that it’s not Dengvaxia, it’s more on pneumonia, heart disease, TB (tuberculosis) -- the cause of death of all these children,” Atty. Panelo said.
“You cannot blame parents for believing that that (Dengvaxia) is the cause of their children’s deaths. That’s why Secretary Duque is right, we need a massive information campaign to tell them that it’s not true,” he added.
There is a 2018 study by the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital showing  that only three of the 14 children who died after being administered with Dengvaxia contracted dengue.

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Report from  PNA

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