Get kids vaccinated, Bicol archbishop urges parents

Get kids vaccinated, Bicol archbishop urges parents

Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona. PHOTO FROM THE CACERES ARCHDIOCESE

By Melo Acuña

February 18, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona of Caceres called on parents to submit their children to vaccination against measles which has recently plagued several parts of the country.

In a pastoral letter read in all Masses in Caceres’ 92 parishes on Sunday, he said the only way to address the problem is to have children vaccinated.

The Department of Health reported that there were more than 20,000 measles cases recorded as of December 2018, a 500 precent increase from 2017.

The outbreak has also caused at least 70 deaths, with majority of the fatalities having no history of vaccination.

In Bicol region, at least 54 new cases of measles were recorded from Jan. 1 to Feb. 2, 2019.

“The archdiocese joins the health department in Bicol in appealing to parents to have their children vaccinated by going to the barangay health centers,” Tirona said.

Health officials attributed the low vaccination rate to the scare caused by the Dengvaxia controversy.

“Let not the unfounded fear of the vaccine affect the lives of our children,” Tirona said.

“We are saddened by the many reported deaths of our children, mostly from poor families and communities,” he added.

He also commended efforts by the DOH Bicol in raising public awareness on the growing number of measles cases in the region.

The archdiocese also urged the cooperation of all concerned agencies, NGOs, civil society and churches to work together in response to the measles outbreak.