Davao City’s 99.48% coverage is tops in polio immunization

Davao City has obtained the highest Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) coverage rate in the country after achieving an excellent 99.48 percent coverage in the first round of the “Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio”.

Davao City Health Office (CHO) technical division chief Dr. Julinda Acosta made the statement during Thursday’s I-Speak Media Forum held at the City Hall of Davao.

“The result is amazing. We have the highest coverage rate in the country and actually ginagawa na tayong role model,” Acosta said.

The 99.48 percent coverage rate is equivalent to 189,901 children 5 years old and below being vaccinated by the free OPV provided by the City Government of Davao.

The excellent result, said Acosta, was braced by the support of all sectors who joined the campaign in eradicating the virus which reemerges after more than 19 years.

Acosta said the force behind the succeeding campaign against polio virus is fueled by the support of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte, barangay officials, health volunteers, hospitals, doctors and private establishments like malls among others.

The house-to-house approach, said the official, was the most effective strategy to get children immunized.

She said if the coverage rate turned the other way and didn’t reach 95 percent, the health office will opt to hold 10 more rounds of vaccination.
But since it closely reached the 100 percent target coverage, conducting  three rounds of massive simultaneous immunization is enough.

However, the challenge now for the city government is how to sustain the excellent coverage in the first round.

On November 25, CHO will hold its second round or second dose of OPV that will run until December 7. There will also be an orientation on November 18 and 19 that will be held at The Grand Menseng Hotel and Ritz Hotel, respectively.

Despite the zero reported case of polio in Davao City, CHO said they must not be complacent.

In Mindanao, there are already four cases of polio reported.