In response to the declaration of a nationwide polio outbreak, two rounds of provincewide mass polio immunization will be conducted in Davao Oriental starting November 25 to December 6, 2019.
For the first round, all children under five years old will be administered with two drops of the vaccine orally, said the Department of Health (DOH) in a statement released on Monday.
The second round is slated on January 6-17, 2020.
DOH urged parents to have their children, especially those under the age of five, to be vaccinated in the synchronized oral polio immunization program.
All children, regardless of whether they are covered by the mass immunization campaign or not, should be vaccinated according to the routine immunization schedule, DOH said.
On September 19, 2019, DOH confirmed the re-emergence of polio in the Philippines, 19 years after the country was declared polio-free by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2000.
Four cases have been reported to date, all caused by vaccine-derived poliovirus Type 2 (VDPV2).
The first confirmed case of the Type 2 polio, a three-year-old girl from Lanao del Sur, prompted authorities to declare a nationwide polio outbreak in September.
The second and third confirmed cases were a five-year-old boy from Laguna province and a four-year-old girl from Maguindanao province. Also, environmental samples taken from sewage in Manila on August and a waterway in this city also tested positive for VDPV2.
WHO said the risk of international spread of polio is low; however, the risk of transmission and recirculation of the poliovirus within the Philippines is high due to low population immunity.
Polio is an infectious disease which spreads rapidly. It can cause paralysis, and on rare occasions, can be fatal. It can be spread when a food or drink contaminated with poliovirus is ingested. (PNA)