Press Release
June 25, 2020


Senator Richard J. Gordon has expressed concern that the declining immunization coverage could trigger more outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases such as measles and polio and called on parents to continue their children's vaccinations.

Gordon, who is also chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross, said disruption in the provision of immunization services increases the number of susceptible individuals in the community and could make them vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and polio.

"If we don't vaccinate, another disease outbreak might happen. We have to avoid and prevent it This can lead to outbreaks of VPDs as well as VPD-related deaths, and further burden the already exhausted healthcare resources due to the rise in COVID-19 cases," he said. . Due to declining immunization coverage, the recent measles outbreak in the Philippines in 2019 saw a staggering 130 per cent increase in cases compared to the same period in 2018. Last year, polio re-emerged in the country after 19 years with 17 confirmed cases and health experts fear an increase as the polio outbreak response had to be suspended due to COVID-19.

The UNICEF warned that at least two million Filipino children below two years old who may miss out on vaccinations this year amidst COVID-19 could be vulnerable to an outbreak of vaccine preventable diseases.

Gordon earlier stressed the need to boost the country's capability to develop its own vaccines, by establishing vaccine factories, noting that countries like Thailand and Vietnam, which has four, have their own facilities.

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