DOH to conduct nationwide measles campaign beginning October 26

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 21, 2020   •   351

The Department of Health (DOH) will conduct a nationwide measles and polio supplemental immunization campaign starting October 26.

DOH Secretary Secretary Francisco Duque said there is still a need to prevent possible measles outbreak especially while the country is facing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

As of August 2020, there are around 3,500 reported measles cases with 36 deaths. Most of the cases are among children under five years old.

The nationwide Measles Rubella-Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization campaign will be rolled out in two phases. The DOH will be conducting the campaign for children under five years old which is around 9.4 million children for the measles-rubella vaccine and 6.9 million children for the oral polio vaccine.

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a high-quality immunization campaign is urgently needed to stop measles transmission and possible outbreaks. We encourage parents and caregivers to have their children immunized. The measles vaccine is safe, effective and free,” he said.

The DOH’s immunization campaign is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). UNICEF Philippines Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnoro said there have been immunization challenges brought by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are at an especially challenging time when immunization for children is being threatened. All of us must do our part in ensuring children in our family are immunized, and that we provide the correct information to parents, community members and among our peers,” she said.

Meanwhile, Duque also assured that the health care workers who will participate in the campaign have been trained and will be provided with personal protective equipment.

The Phase 1 of the campaign will be conducted from 26 October to 25 November 2020 in Mindanao Regions, CAR, I, II, IV-B and V. Phase 2 will be conducted in February 2021 in Visayas Regions, NCR, III and IV-A. AAC

IATF approves use of automatic contact tracing via smart messaging system

Maris Federez   •   April 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Saturday (April 10) approved the recommendation of the National Economic and Development Authority to use automatic contact tracing through smart messaging system.

A statement issued by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Sunday said this is to further strengthen and improve the use of StaySafe.ph System – the official social distancing, COVID-19 health-condition reporting, and contact tracing system of the government.

“To ensure interoperability and integration of all contact tracing applications integration in the StaySafe.ph System, there will be an initial beta-testing, together with the proposed messaging, of the Smart Messaging System in Pasig City due on May 1, 2021, and beta-testing in the consortium of Antipolo and cities of Pasig, Mandaluyong, Valenzuela due on May 1, 2021, with access to COVID-19 Document Repository System (CDRS),” the statement said.

The IATF has also adopted the recommendation on the immediate completion of the transfer of ownership of the CDRS, and its immediate integration with the StaySafe.PH System and other local contact tracing systems and applications, to the Department of Health (DOH), Roque said.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has been directed to be the overall lead in the implementation of the project, while the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), is directed to lead its national interoperability.

The DOH, on the other hand, is in charge of ensuring the integration of the StaySafe.ph System with the CDRS.

The DILG shall be convening with the DICT and the DOH to formulate the necessary action plan with specific timelines and targets for the said project.

Phl adds 11,681 new COVID-19 cases to active tally

Maris Federez   •   April 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday (April 11) recorded 11,681 additional coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines.

This brings the total number of active COVID-19 cases to 146,519.

The health department also logged 55,204 recoveries and 201 deaths, bringing the total number of those who recuperated to 703,404 and those who succumbed to the disease to 14,945.

The DOH also reported that 22 duplicates were removed from the total case count. Seven of which have reportedly recovered.

“Moreover, 13 cases that were previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation,” the DOH added.

The DOH also said that the report was made pending some data from six laboratories that were not able to submit their data to the COVID-19 Document Repository System (CDRS) on April 10, 2021.

Complete details of the report are available at www.doh.gov.ph/covid19tracker.

COVID-19 vax did not cause stroke of vaccinee in Caloocan — DOH, FDA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have clarified reports that a 54-year-old man from Caloocan City experienced a serious adverse event after his inoculation with the COVID-19 vaccine.

In a statement released Saturday, April 10, the DOH said that upon receipt of the report, it immediately directed the Regional Adverse Events Following Immunization Committee (RAEFIC) to conduct a causality assessment to determine if the vaccine had indeed caused the reaction.

“Following the conclusion of the causality assessment conducted by the RAEFIC, as concurred with by the National AEFIC, the DOH and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today report that: (1) the COVID-19 vaccine DID NOT cause the stroke, (2) the adverse event is inconsistent with the causal association to the vaccine, and (3) the adverse event is coincidental to underlying or emerging conditions of the patient,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the agencies also reiterated its directive to all vaccination sites to strictly follow screening protocols in the assessment of potential vaccine recipients. It also reminded the public to fully disclose their underlying conditions during registration for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The DOH and FDA emphasized that vaccines are safe and effective.

“With the expansion of the national vaccination program to cover senior citizens and persons with comorbidities, the DOH and FDA likewise urge the public to avail of the FREE COVID-19 vaccines to acquire the protection it provides not only for yourselves, but also for your families,” the statement further said. AAC

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