Iloilo City Receives 6,000 Vaccine Vials to Combat Pertussis Outbreak

ILOILO CITY — In response to a pertussis outbreak, the Department of Health (DOH) has provided 6,000 vials of pentavalent vaccines to Iloilo City to support its immunization efforts. According to Iloilo City health officer Annabelle Tang, who spoke at a media conference on Tuesday, the vaccines were sourced from Region 12, and efforts are ongoing to secure additional doses.

According to Philippines News Agency, Tang explained that the goal is to administer all 6,000 doses within two and a half days, noting that health staff would work through the weekend to reach vulnerable populations. As of Tuesday, the city reported 11 laboratory-confirmed cases of pertussis, one fatality, and 23 probable cases.

In addition to the DOH-provided vaccines, the city government has invested PHP13 million in procuring hexavalent 6-in-1 vaccines and diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (TDaP) booster vaccines. Tang stated that 1,200 TDaP vaccines are expected to arrive by Friday, while the release of 3,775 doses of the 6-in-1 vaccines is pending from the factory.

The city's health office is conducting house-to-house vaccinations, and vaccines are also available at health centers. The primary focus is on infants from zero to 12 months, those with incomplete vaccinations, and pregnant women in their last trimester. The outreach aims to cover children aged 12 to 59 months and pregnant mothers.

Tang highlighted that 21.48 percent of the target vaccinations for routine and outbreak response have been administered so far, with hopes to complete the immunization within two months, contingent on supply availability.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas also addressed operational adjustments due to the outbreak, announcing a travel moratorium for city health office personnel involved in the response, effective immediately. This directive, outlined in Executive Order No. 55, series of 2024, restricts travel for these personnel unless approved under exceptional circumstances by the City Health Officer.

Treñas reassured that funding for vaccine purchases is secure, although obtaining sufficient supplies remains a challenge.