Taguig beefs up immunization drive vs. measles

Taguig City, through its Health Office, has launched a more aggressive and free immunization drive against measles as part of efforts to address the disease in the city.

The scope of the immunization campaign includes infants and schoolchildren in elementary and high schools, as well as adults who have not completed their immunization.

“We are bringing our health services closer to our constituents, and I want to encourage parents and those who have not received their complete vaccination yet to avail of this service,” Mayor Lani Cayetano said.

According to City Health officer-in-charge Dr. Isaias Ramos, the drive particularly targets barangays with positive cases of measles, especially the barangays of Lower and Western Bicutan and nearby communities. The remaining barangays will soon follow.

“Each barangay will have one place where people may go for their free vaccination. This is in addition to the free vaccines given in our barangay health centers,” Dr. Ramos said.

Ramos said the annual door-to-door vaccination, conducted every August or September, would be held earlier than scheduled in response to the Department of Health’s (DOH) call to different local government units to conduct a massive measles vaccination drive.

He added that measles, despite being classified as a common disease, causes serious complications such as blindness, encephalitis (an infection that causes brain swelling), severe diarrhea and related dehydration, ear infections, or severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia.

“The manifestations of measles are fever, runny nose, cough, and conjunctivitis. If these symptoms occur, they should be taken to the nearest health center,” said Dr. Ramos.

In 2013, there were 43 reported cases in the city but only five of these were clinically and laboratory confirmed.

The reported number of cases in the city, Dr. Ramos noted, is way smaller than those in other cities in NCR.

“We are taking prevention very seriously so we are encouraging our constituents not to disregard their health especially their vaccinations against certain illnesses,” said Mayor Lani. ###

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