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DoH eyes nationwide vaccination against measles By Anna Valmero INQUIRER.net First Posted 15:29:00 03/11/2010 Filed Under: Health, Diseases, Medicines MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DoH) is planning to conduct a nationwide anti-measles vaccination of children from six months up to six years old, an official said Thursday. Doctor Eric Tayag, National Epidemiology Center (NEC) director, said the DoH would make the announcement “very soon.” Between January 1 and February 27, four children between six months and one year old from Tondo in Manila and one two-year-old boy from Quiapo died from measles due to lack of vaccination. Outbreaks have been recorded in 17 villages and in six regions in the country, with 742 cases, mostly children below four years old, confirmed to have been infected with measles based on blood and laboratory tests, said Tayag. Measles is highly contagious, said Tayag, which would mean that someone ill, through airborne droplets, could infect up to 18 persons. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) states that there are at least 150 deaths daily from measles in 2008. Immunization is the best way to prevent a child from getting measles, plus a healthy body. It is usually given to infants aged between nine and 15 months and can offer up to 90 percent immunity against the virus. “The DoH is considering if there is a need to hold a nationwide immunization or if we must concentrate to Metro Manila first where five children have already died and over 400 have been confirmed to have measles,” said Tayag. “If we opt for a nationwide vaccination for measles, this might include those below six years old so we could catch and vaccinate children who were not given the immunization when they were below one-year-old and thus, decrease their vulnerability to the disease. Based on NEC statistics, at least 70 percent of confirmed cases are those without vaccination,” added the health official. “It is best to give the vaccine to a child before an outbreak occurs,” he said. Tayag said the number of cases reached 10,000 from 1998 to 2003. “For this year, DoH aims to have at least less than one percent laboratory confirmed measles cases in the country per one million Filipinos or less than 90 cases since the country has a 90 million population,” said Tayag. If the nationwide vaccination pushes through, the DoH will vaccinate at least three million infants below one-year-old and another three million aged below six years old – said to be the most vulnerable to the measles virus, Tayag said. Tayag urged mothers to have their children vaccinated against measles and other diseases like chickenpox and rubella at barangay (village) health centers. “Measles is preventable and getting a second vaccination, if your child has been vaccinated before, would not result in an overdose. The vaccine is provided free of charge and mothers, even those pregnant, should be vigilant to make sure that their children are protected,” said Tayag. Tayag also suggested that a combination of the vaccines for measles and other “childhood diseases” such as mumps, rubella, and chicken pox was a cheaper alternative to the individual vaccines for these illnesses.

Posted on: March 11, 2010

DoH eyes nationwide vaccination against measles

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 15:29:00 03/11/2010

Filed Under: Health, Diseases, Medicines

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DoH) is planning to conduct a nationwide anti-measles vaccination of children from six months up to six years old, an official said Thursday.

Doctor Eric Tayag, National Epidemiology Center (NEC) director, said the DoH would make the announcement “very soon.”

Between January 1 and February 27, four children between six months and one year old from Tondo in Manila and one two-year-old boy from Quiapo died from measles due to lack of vaccination.

Outbreaks have been recorded in 17 villages and in six regions in the country, with 742 cases, mostly children below four years old, confirmed to have been infected with measles based on blood and laboratory tests, said Tayag.

Measles is highly contagious, said Tayag, which would mean that someone ill, through airborne droplets, could infect up to 18 persons. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) states that there are at least 150 deaths daily from measles in 2008.

Immunization is the best way to prevent a child from getting measles, plus a healthy body. It is usually given to infants aged between nine and 15 months and can offer up to 90 percent immunity against the virus.

“The DoH is considering if there is a need to hold a nationwide immunization or if we must concentrate to Metro Manila first where five children have already died and over 400 have been confirmed to have measles,” said Tayag.

“If we opt for a nationwide vaccination for measles, this might include those below six years old so we could catch and vaccinate children who were not given the immunization when they were below one-year-old and thus, decrease their vulnerability to the disease. Based on NEC statistics, at least 70 percent of confirmed cases are those without vaccination,” added the health official.

“It is best to give the vaccine to a child before an outbreak occurs,” he said.

Tayag said the number of cases reached 10,000 from 1998 to 2003.

“For this year, DoH aims to have at least less than one percent laboratory confirmed measles cases in the country per one million Filipinos or less than 90 cases since the country has a 90 million population,” said Tayag.

If the nationwide vaccination pushes through, the DoH will vaccinate at least three million infants below one-year-old and another three million aged below six years old – said to be the most vulnerable to the measles virus, Tayag said.

Tayag urged mothers to have their children vaccinated against measles and other diseases like chickenpox and rubella at barangay (village) health centers.

“Measles is preventable and getting a second vaccination, if your child has been vaccinated before, would not result in an overdose. The vaccine is provided free of charge and mothers, even those pregnant, should be vigilant to make sure that their children are protected,” said Tayag.

Tayag also suggested that a combination of the vaccines for measles and other “childhood diseases” such as mumps, rubella, and chicken pox was a cheaper alternative to the individual vaccines for these illnesses.

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