Parents lined up from sunrise holding sleeping infants in Manila as the Philippines launched a campaign on Monday, October 14, to vaccinate millions of children against polio, which has re-emerged nearly two decades after the nation’s last cases.
Years of falling vaccination rates, made worse by the botched rollout of a dengue vaccine, culminated in an outbreak of the preventable disease in September. Two cases were detected in September, the first polio infections in the Philippines since 2001, adding to the woes of a country already hit by deadly measles and dengue epidemic.
The risk of the disease spreading within the Philippines is high, according to the World Health Organization. The Philippines was the first nation to use Dengvaxia in a mass program in 2016, but a botched rollout led to claims that children had died after being vaccinated.
Polio, which can cause paralysis and can be fatal in rare cases, has no cure and can only be prevented with several doses of oral and injectable vaccines. (AFP)