C'bean nationals among 70 million to be vaccinated as part of Vaccination Week

Friday, April 20, 2018

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WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) — The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says Caribbean nationals will be among more than 70 million people who will be vaccinated against a variety of dangerous preventable diseases later this week.

PAHO said that initiative will form part of the activities marking the 16th annual Vaccination Week in the Americas that will be celebrated from April 21-28 and aimed at promoting the vital role of vaccination in saving lives.

vPAHO said the theme for the campaign is “Strengthen your defense! #GetVax #VaccinesWork,” and was chosen in honour of the 2018 football World Cup.

PAHO said it also “seeks to encourage the population in general, and particularly those planning a trip abroad, to get vaccinated in order to strengthen their immune systems and avoid disease.”

As part of the Vaccination Week in the Americas celebrations, PAHO said 11 countries have announced their intention to strengthen measles immunisation through the vaccination of six million people.

PAHO said the endemic measles virus was eliminated in the Americas but continues to circulate in other parts of the world.

“Vaccination Week is a great opportunity to unite efforts in protecting the health of the population,” said Dr Carissa F Etienne, PAHO's Dominican-born director.

She said vaccination and surveillance are particularly important for the region “to ensure that diseases such as measles do not get reintroduced.”

Since May 2017, PAHO said has released several alerts about new measles outbreaks and has called for strengthened efforts to prevent new cases and halt transmission.

As part of the Vaccination Week in the Americas campaign, PAHO said 14 countries will vaccinate against influenza, 16 will vaccinate against polio, 13 will vaccinate against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and five will vaccinate against yellow fever.

Sixteen countries are also planning a series of other public health actions, such as the distribution of Vitamin A and deworming initiatives, in addition to vaccinating, PAHO said.

On April 23, it said Cuba will host the regional launch and launch activities are also planned in Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, the British Virgin Islands, Colombia, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, St Lucia, St Martin, Turks and Caicos, and Trinidad and Tobago.




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