Naga’s 27 brgys conduct ‘Chikiting Ligtas’

NAGA CITY --- The local government unit here is targeting around 20,000 children to undergo the immunization drive of the Department of Health that already started last Oct. 26 and will end on Nov, 25, this year.

Dubbed “Chikiting Ligtas”, the immunization drive offers oral polio vaccine for toddlers with ages ranging from 0 to 5 years old and measles rubella vaccine for kids whose ages are 9 months up to 5 years old.

Dr. Vito Borja, City Health Office (CHO) chief, said parents whose children had vaccine shots are advised to submit them for revaccination. He explained that the purpose of booster shots is to increase the body’s immunity to a particular disease at a time when the initial vaccine may start to wear off. Without booster shots, the protective effects of some vaccines can begin to wane, leaving the child more exposed to potential disease.

Borja expressed optimism that this year’s vaccination campaign would serve more beneficiaries than in previous years after the Dengvaxia scare has gone and remained unsubstantiated.

IMMUNIZATION. A 2-year old toddler (top photo) receives a dose of oral polio vaccine during the conduct of the DOH “Chikiting Ligtas” vaccination in Barangay Bagumbayan Sur. Below is a licensed midwife administering a shot of a measles rubella vaccine to a 3-year-old preschooler in Bagumbayan Norte. JBN/VIC VILLAFLOR/REY BAYLON/CEPPIO


He said the Dengvaxia controversy, which hounded the country for almost two years, had resulted in the loss of confidence in vaccines and low immunization rates that resulted in an infectious disease crisis in the country in 2019, including a measles outbreak.

“We are optimistic that our target of 20,000 child-beneficiaries in this ongoing mass immunization is achievable, thanks to parents and guardians who are bringing their kids to vaccination posts in the barangays,” he said.

As of Nov. 10, 2020, the CHO exceeeded by more than 50 percent of its target of number of children to be vaccinated.

Borja said the figure could have been improved had it not been to typhoons “Quinta” and “Rolly,” which hampered the holding of the immunization campaign. “The problem has become more complicated when it comes to storing the substances at 46°F when most parts of the city were suffering from post-typhoon power outages,” he said.