Immunizing children against measles and rubella


Philippines committed to eliminate measles by 2012

To fulfill this commitment, three (3) successful mass measles immunization campaigns were conducted in 1998, 2004 and 2007. All campaigns achieved 95% coverage.

Every year, 9 – 11 month old infants in the country are vaccinated against the measles infection. However, there are children that are not vaccinated. Routine measles immunization coverage never reached 95%.

A boy, less than 8 years old, receving measles and rubella vaccination during a house-to-house immunization campaign.
A boy, less than 8 years old, receving measles and rubella vaccination during a house-to-house immunization campaign.

This resulted to measles outbreaks to occur in different areas of the Philippines. In December 2010, there were a total of 6,200 confirmed measles cases all over the country. Majority of the cases were children below 8 years of age. Only 30% of these cases were vaccinated.

From 2007 to 2010, a total of 2,016,985 children were at risk of having measles infection. The Philippines aimed to save these children, which were never reached by the vaccinators during routine immunization, from measles disease.

n June 2011, the President of the Philippines, Hon. Benigno Aquino III, signed the Republic Act No. 10152, an Act providing for Mandatory Basic Immunization Services for Infants and Children. This is part of the “Aquino Health Agenda: Universal Health Care (Kalusugan Pangkalahatan)” strategic thrusts. One of the critical role players to implement the “Kalusugan Pangkalahatan” are the Community Health Teams (CHT) mobilized by the government to reach out to the poorest of the poor Filipinos. One of their functions is to check the health status of under five children and ensure that each completes required routine childhood immunization. Futher, the government provided sufficient funds to ensure universal and equitable access to measles containing vaccines.

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