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Wednesday, February 3, 2021

PRC starts Polio & Measles-Rubella vaccination phase 2, aims for 100k children immunized 

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) started its nationwide measles-rubella & polio supplemental immunization activity (SIA) on February 1, continuing its support of the Department of Health’s (DOH) second phase of Chikiting Ligtas – the DOH’s vaccination program for 2021.

In this phase, children will be given additional vaccine doses aside from their routine immunization. PRC targets 100,000 children vaccinated – 50,000 each for polio and measles-rubella. 

The Philippine government aims to vaccinate a total of 9,472,468 children with the measles-rubella vaccine, and 6,919,015 children with the bivalent oral polio vaccine. To meet these figures, PRC will be pursuing vaccination the whole month of February. The humanitarian organization will mobilize 2,000 volunteers with 75 staff from 35 PRC chapters. The volunteers and staff will be grouped into 300 teams which aim to reach 500,000 households in 500 communities.

“The need to vaccinate children is crucial for us to halt the ongoing polio outbreak and prevent an impending measles outbreak. Let us protect our children as early as now,” PRC Chairman & CEO, Sen. Richard Gordon.

From October 2019 to December 2020, PRC was able to vaccinate 960,429 children against polio and 83,799 children against measles-rubella. Overall, 1,044,228 have been vaccinated through the efforts of PRC.

For PRC Chairman Gordon, the coordination of the two institutions is vital as it speeds up the supplemental immunization for the children, especially with the challenges posed by the on-going pandemic. Gordon also acknowledged PRC’s staff and volunteers who braved the risks in order to help protect communities against polio, measles, and rubella.

“PRC’s greatest assets will always be its dedicated volunteers and staff. Their service has been instrumental for this supplemental immunization activity. As Chairman, I am very thankful and proud that many volunteers are fulfilling the Red Cross humanitarian mandate whenever, wherever,” Gordon said.