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Go to parents: Support vaccination drive

MANILA, Philippines — To protect children from diseases, Sen. Bong Go has urged parents to support and cooperate with the government’s vaccination program.

This comes amid reports of increasing measles cases in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), as well as pertussis outbreaks in the National Capital Region, including Taguig and Quezon City, and other parts of the country like Iloilo City.

“Protecting our children’s health is a shared responsibility. I urge all parents to support the vaccination initiatives of our government,” said Go, chair of the Senate committee on health and demography.

“By ensuring that our children get vaccinated on time, we can protect them from serious diseases like measles and pertussis,” he added.

Republic Act No. 10152 or the “Mandatory Infants and Children Health Immunization Act of 2011” mandates routine immunization services for infants and children up to five years old, targeting diseases including pertussis and measles, among others.

Go also addressed concerns about vaccine hesitancy among parents, attributing it to misconceptions and fears of adverse effects.

“Let us trust our health experts and not allow fear to hinder our fight against these preventable diseases. We must prioritize the health and safety of our children,” he asserted.

The Department of Health (DOH) has launched a non-selective immunization drive in Mindanao in response to the measles outbreak in BARMM, aiming to vaccinate children in the affected areas without the need for vaccination history verification. This measure seeks to expedite the immunization process and control the outbreak more efficiently.

Undersecretary Eric Tayag reassured parents that the vaccine is safe, with no risk of overdose, for children aged six months to 10 years.

Moreover, the DOH has reported a resurgence of measles and pertussis cases nationwide, with over 2,600 measles cases and more than 453 cases of pertussis, including 35 deaths, in the first 10 weeks of the year.

Amid challenges, such as the delayed arrival of pertussis vaccines and the necessity of emergency purchases by local governments, the DOH raised alarm about the possible spread of pertussis