COTABATO CITY—Officer-in-charge health minister Amirel Usman reported that Bangsamoro Government completed 94.55 percent of the total measle-rubella immunization target across the region as of Dec. 11.
Ministry of Health (MOH) said they have immunized 470,308 out of 497,414 children under five years old against measles-rubella.
The ministry started its month-long measles-rubella supplemental immunization activities (MR-SIA) in Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi on October 21, and it was originally set to end on October 26.
The province of Lanao del Sur and Marawi City had to start the campaign on a later date due to rising threats of the Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19).
The health minister announced on December 4 that the immunization period needed to be extended until December 11 to reach more children in order to prevent its possible outbreak, especially the country is still facing the challenges of Covid-19.
Usman said out of the region’s five provinces, Maguindanao has the largest number of target at 156,734 children, 96 percent of whom were immunized.
The City of Lamitan immunized 11,280 children, an overshooting accomplishment percentage of 109.7 of its target children at 10,578.
While the region’s performance was affected by the adverse effects of Covid-19 and floods because of torrential rains, health workers also needed to deal with refusals of mothers and guardians for the vaccines against measles-rubella.
“Misconceptions on vaccine’s legitimacy, side effects, religious beliefs and threats of Covid-19 infection were among the most apparent reasons for refusals of vaccination,” Deputy Health Minister Zul Qarneyn Abas said.
Provincial and regional health workers conducted rapid coverage monitoring to trace unimmunized children and vaccinate them against measles-rubella.
The monitoring aimed at identifying possible causes and challenges faced by health workers in the immunization process and to plan and execute actions to correct them.
In August, MOH vaccinated a total of 803,516 children against polio virus, reaching its 95 percent target all over the region. (Bureau of Public Information)