The city government has stepped up its preparations for the upcoming Mindanao-wide mass immunization campaign against polio, which seeks to cover some 75,545 infants and children here.
Dr. Rochelle Oco, City Health Office (CHO) chief, said Wednesday they will deploy at least 199 vaccination teams for the initial round of the “Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio,” which was set by the Department of Health from November 25 to December 7.
Another round of massive polio immunization is set for the entire Mindanao from January 6 to 18 next year.
Oco said the teams will be assigned to conduct house-to-house vaccination for children aged five-years-old and below in 26 barangays in the city.
Some of them, she said, will be deployed in fixed vaccination posts in barangay health centers and other community convergence areas, she said.
“As of today, we still need 87 vaccinators and we’re continually calling for more volunteers,” she told reporters.
The official said the vaccinators should be licensed or registered nurses, midwives, medical technologists, and doctors.
She appealed to parents and guardians of the eligible children to voluntarily submit them for vaccination against poliovirus to ensure their protection against the renewed outbreak of poliomyelitis in the country.
“We’re calling on everyone concerned to cooperate as well since this is not only the concern of the government,” she said.
Oco said all children aged five-years-old and below should receive the oral polio vaccines regardless of their immunization status.
She assured that the vaccines are safe and proven to be effective in preventing polio infection, which mainly spreads through contaminated fecal wastes.
“While we focus on combatting polio through immunization, it’s also important for our communities and households to practice the proper disposal of fecal wastes and ensure zero open defecation to prevent the possible spread of the disease,” she said.
Oco reiterated that the vaccines are free and provided by the national government.
She advised residents to immediately report to their office if they encounter vaccinators who will charge certain fees or ask for donations. (PNA)