Amid rising pertussis cases in the region

TACLOBAN CITY– The Department of Health (DOH) is taking a proactive move to discuss the pertussis threat by hosting a virtual town hall session for public and private elementary schools across the region on Monday (April 15).

The session was attended by different key stakeholders, including school superintendents, division supervisors, school heads, principals, teachers, school nurses, and representatives from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

As part of World Immunization Week, the DOH Eastern Visayas NIP Regional Program Manager, Chiradee Clardidad, addressed the immunization program updates in the region.
She also highlighted the importance of immunizing infants or children against common vaccine-preventable diseases to reduce sickness and death.

The region is also focusing on intensifying routine immunization programs and closely monitoring diseases like measles and pertussis.

Based on the latest data from the DOH, out of 101,728 children, a total of 58,791 were successfully vaccinated, resulting in an overall coverage rate of 57.97%.

Biliran province leads in vaccination, with a 70.98% vaccination rate.

Of the 3,673 eligible children, 2,607 received the necessary vaccinations, reflecting the community’s proactive approach to child health.

Conversely, Northern Samar faced challenges, with only 49.77% of its eligible population of 15,211 children receiving vaccinations.

Meantime, Tacloban City exhibited a moderately successful performance, achieving a 63.02% vaccination rate among its 5,930 eligible children.

“A little down in Tacloban from the 2022 accomplishments because we still need collective accomplishments from the private health facilities since people are getting vaccinated in private facilities. So, we also need to account for this, especially in our City Health Office,” Claridad said.

Meanwhile, Leyte, with the highest eligible population of 34,410 children, also recorded a lower vaccination rate of 57.41% with a total of 19,756 vaccinated children, which reveals a notable gap in immunization efforts.

“We are here to assist you, to continue influencing parents, especially mothers, to bring their children to the nearest health facility or rural health unit for vaccination. In this case, since we do not yet have the pentavalent vaccine, whatever vaccine is available and necessary for the child at the time, they should receive it as much as possible,” Claridad said.