Red Cross expands mass vaccination drive to Central Luzon
As a measure to curb the continuous increase of measles cases in the country, the Philippine Red Cross has begun to vaccinate children in Olongapo City.
The latest mass vaccination drive carries more significance as it also commences PRC’s community-based measles control program in Central Luzon, in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) and local health units.
PRC, under the leadership of Chairman Richard Gordon, has been working closely with DOH to counter the immunization gap in the Philippines.
“Halos 52 percent na ang nahabol sa measles gap sa tulong ng DOH. Sila ang nagpapatakbo, kasama ang teachers at mga ating Red Cross volunteers. Hindi titigil ang Red Cross hanggang maabot natin ang 100-percent vaccination coverage,” Gordon said during the kick-off the program in Olongapo.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III lauded PRC’s efforts in addressing the measles crisis in the country, which includes conducting mass vaccination drives in vulnerable communities and the installation of measles care units in overcrowded hospitals and.
Over 140 children received vaccine shots on the first two days of the immunization program in Olongapo. Hot meals were also served to 300 parents and children who participated in the effort.
PRC brought the vaccination drive closer to communities as over 10 vaccination stations were set up in four barangays in Olongapo namely Brgy. Asinan, Brgy. East Tapinac, Brgy. Pag-asa, and Brgy. New Kalalake.
In total, PRC has vaccinated 6,299 children in Manila (3,014), Antipolo (1,036), Marikina (964), Cebu (455), Lapu-Lapu (589), Baguio (94), and Olongapo (81).
PRC installed measles care units to assist six overcrowded hospitals namely San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, Philippine General Hospital in Manila, Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center in Marikina, Cainta Municipal Hospital in Rizal, and Rizal Provincial Hospital System – Antipolo Annex.
As of February 27, the measles care units have served 1,431 patients, including 101 individuals still being attended to.