The Philippine health secretary says 136 people, mostly children, have died of measles and 8,400 others have been sickened in an outbreak blamed partly on recent vaccination fears.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Monday a massive immunization drive that started last week in hard-hit Manila and four provincial regions may contain the outbreak by April. President Rodrigo Duterte warned in a TV message Friday of fatal complications and urged children to be immunized. The outbreak began in January.

Duque said a government information drive is helping restore public trust in the government’s immunization program, which was marred in 2017 by an anti-dengue vaccine made by French drugmaker Sanofi which was blamed for the deaths of at least three children.

FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2019, file photo, Philippine National Red Cross and Health Department volunteers conduct house-to-house measles vaccination to children at an informal settlers community in Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)
FILE – In this Feb. 16, 2019, file photo, Philippine National Red Cross and Health Department volunteers conduct house-to-house measles vaccination to children at an informal settlers community in Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)

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