1m children by routine vaccine unprotected – UNICEF

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More than one million children in the Philippines are yet to receive a single dose of polio routine vaccine, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Friday.

UNICEF said nearly 1.5 million Filipino children are yet to receive or complete their polio vaccine, making 67 provinces in the country at high risk for polio infections.

Polio is a highly infectious disease that can cause paralysis or death.

Complete vaccination for polio, according to schedule, is the most effective way to protect children from this disease.

Meanwhile, all regions in the Philippines are also at high risk for a measles outbreak, according to the 2022 World Health Organisation Risk Assessment.

UNICEF Philippines Representative, Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov, said that the increasing number of children at risk of measles, polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases “must be treated as a public health emergency that needs urgent action”.

She said the COVID-19 pandemic “highlights the need to strengthen primary health care’’, urging the authorities to prioritise investments and bolster human resources to reach zero-dose children. (NAN)

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