Iligtas sa Tigdas ang Pinas
A Door-to-Door Measles-Rubella (MR) Immunization Campaign Vaccinating All Children, 9 months to below 8 years old From April 4 to May 4, 2011
The Philippines has committed to eliminate measles in 2012, the target year agreed upon with the other countries in the Western Pacific Region. Three (3) mass measles immunization campaigns were conducted in 1998, 2004 and 2007, achieving 95% coverage in each round. In contrast, the annual coverage for routine measles vaccination given to infants’ ages 9-11 months never reached the target of at least 95%. The highest coverage ever attained is 92% and the lowest coverage was 67% (1987 DOH EPI Report).
The lower the coverage, the faster is the accumulation of unimmunized susceptible infants, resulting in measles outbreaks in different areas of the Philippines. Laboratory confirmed measles cases continued to be reported all over the country, which indicates uninterrupted circulation of measles virus transmission resulting to illness and deaths among children.
Mass measles immunization campaigns provide a “second opportunity” to “catch missed children”, but these are done every 2-3 years interval and therefore not enough to prevent seasonal outbreaks from occurring in areas with low immunization coverage. The administration of a 2nd dose of measles containing vaccines on a routine schedule will provide this “second opportunity” at an earlier time and ensure the protection against measles of infants/children who failed to be protected during the first dose.
As a response to interrupt the transmission of the measles virus and prevent a potential large measles outbreak to occur, there is an urgent need to conduct a measles supplemental immunization activity this April 2011. All children ages 9-95 months old nationwide should be given a dose of measles-rubella vaccine through a door-to-door vaccination campaign. Unlike previous campaign, a measles-free certification will be issued to city/province meeting all the criteria of (1) all barangays passed the RCA with no missed child and 95% and above house marking accuracy; (2) there are no measles cases for the next 3 months after the campaign and (3) measles surveillance indicators have met the national standards.