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Philippines : DOH launches Inactivated Polio Vaccine to expand immunization for children.

The Department of Health (DOH) today introduced the Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) as part of the expanded program on immunization for children in ceremonies held in ParaEaque City.

The IPV (injected intramuscularly) will be given in health centers in addition to the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) drop when a child is fourteen (14) weeks old.

The introduction of inactivated polio vaccines will allow us to improve the protection of Filipino children against polio and maintain our polio-free status in the country, Secretary of Health Enrique T. Ona declared.

The IPV protects against polio type 1 and 3 and outbreaks of wild or vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 while the OPV is effective only against the wild poliovirus.

The inclusion of IPV is part of the country s response to the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 that was drawn up after the May 2012 World Health Assembly declaration that the completion of poliovirus eradication is a programmatic emergency for global public health.

Globally as of September this year, there were 171 wild Polio Virus type 1 cases (152 from endemic countries and 19 from non-endemic countries) and 37 Polio Virus type 2 cases reported.

In the Philippines, the last recorded wild Polio virus case was in 1993. In 2000, the World Health Organization certified the Western Pacific Region, of which the country is part of, polio-free.

However, the Philippines is still a high-risk country for polio importation because of its highly mobile population, the presence of numerous airports, seaports, and other ports of entry, the presence of areas with low immunization coverage, and inadequate reporting of cases.

The country began its Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) in 1979, five years after the World Health Organization launched its EPI in 1974. At present, the Program includes the administration of BCG (anti-tuberculosis), Hepatitis B, DPT (anti-diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus), OPV, HiB (anti-influenza type B), and MMR (anti-measles, mumps and rubella) vaccines.

The DOH recognizes immunization as a key element in reducing the burden of childhood mortality and morbidity and the inclusion of the IPV boosts our children s health and immunization programs, the health chief concluded.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Oct 7, 2014
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