Navotas vaccinates over 16,300 children against polio

Navotas City ramps up immunization of children aged 0-59 months against polio. (Photo Courtesy: Navotas Public Information Office) 

QUEZON CITY, (PIA) – The Navotas City government successfully immunized a total of 16,371 children against polio, reaching 102 percent of its target population for the rollout of the 2024 Chikiting Ligtas campaign. 

Of these, 661 were 0-23 months old, while 15,710 were 24-59 months old. The City Health Office (CHO) specifically targeted to immunize these children after failing to receive or missing their routine vaccinations. 

Chikiting Ligtas is a supplemental immunization activity of the Department of Health (DOH) aimed at bridging the gap in vaccination coverage, particularly of children aged 0-59 months against vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, rubella, and polio. 

“The DOH is committed to improve routine immunization coverage with the help of all community, national, regional, and global stakeholders. Everyone at every age should fully benefit from vaccines for their health and well-being,” said Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa, emphasizing the life-saving power of vaccines. 

Dr. Janis Bunoan-Macazo of the DOH National Immunization Program (MIP) Unit meanwhile underscored the initiative of the health department to ensure the safety of the vaccines that are being deployed and administered in the country. 

“Immunization is crucial in preventing vaccine-preventable diseases, saving countless lives and safeguarding future generations. The Department of Health ensures the safety of vaccines in the National Immunization Program, easily accessible in primary care centers as part of Universal Health Care,” said Macazo. 

For his part, Navotas City Mayor John Rey Tiangco further encouraged the parents and guardians of unvaccinated children to avail of the free anti-poliovirus vaccine to protect them from contracting the potentially disabling and life-threatening disease. 

“The polio vaccine is safe and effective. Let us ensure that our children are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases by making sure that their immunization is updated,” said Tiangco. 

Navotas is the first city in the CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) area to reach its target population for polio vaccination. 

To date, there is still no vaccine developed to cure polio and the only effective way to protect the population from the possibility of a disease outbreak is through preventive immunization. 

The “Chikiting Ligtas: ToDOH Bakuna, Todo Proteksyon Kontra Polio” intensified campaign will continue its localized rollout until May 15.

Polio, or poliomyelitis, according to DOH, is a highly infectious viral disease that primarily affects children under the age of 5. It is caused by the poliovirus, which can infect a person’s spinal cord or brain stem, leading to paralysis and even life-threatening complications.

The disease spreads from person to person, usually through contact with contaminated feces or respiratory droplets. The initial symptoms can include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, and stiffness in the neck and limbs.

In its most severe form, polio can lead to permanent paralysis. (JMP/PIA-NCR) 

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