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Public Health hosts a special immunisation drive to mark Vaccination Week in the Americas

Health Care 18 Apr, 2024 Follow News

Parents are encouraged to bring their children, especially those with missed or outstanding doses, to get vaccinated during the vaccination drive.

To celebrate the 22nd annual Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) organised by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) from 20 – 27 April 2024, the Public Health Department is hosting a special vaccination drive.

The Cayman Islands will join other countries across the Americas to participate in VWA, an initiative focused on protecting public health by spreading awareness about the importance of immunization. The main aim of this campaign is to enhance vaccine acceptance and uptake, especially among children, which has been decreasing globally and more prominently in the Americas over the last decade.

The theme “Engage Now to Protect Your Future” emphasises the proactive role individuals and communities can play in safeguarding their health and the health of future generations through vaccination. By being proactive, individuals can prevent the spread of diseases, protect themselves and their loved ones, and contribute to the overall well-being of society.

Emphasising the importance of vaccinations to prevent the spread of illness and safeguard communities, the Director of Primary Health Care Services and Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez stated, “Vaccination Week in the Americas is a testament to the region’s commitment to public health and collective well-being. PAHO wants to ensure that everyone, regardless of age or location, has access to life-saving vaccines. By working together and prioritising immunization, we can protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities from preventable diseases.”

All children who need vaccinations, including those with missed or outstanding doses, are urged to get vaccinated during the special vaccination drive, which will be held on the following days:

• Saturday, 20 April at the Bodden Town Health Centre , 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

• Saturday, 27 April, at the John Gray High School Auditorium, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Appointments can be made in advance by contacting 244-2648, however, walk-ins are also welcome. Parents will also be contacted to schedule appointments for those who have outstanding vaccines.

Adults who require tetanus boosters or healthcare workers who need Hepatitis B or MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccines may also attend.

Additionally, two Continuing Medical Education (CME) sessions are being organised for healthcare workers on Measles and the HPV Vaccine Gardasil 9:

• Wednesday 17 April, Hibiscus Conference Room, Health Services Authority - 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

• Wednesday 8 May, Hibiscus Conference Room Health Services Authority - 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

For more information contact the Public Health Department at 244-2621.

SIDE BAR:

The current childhood immunisation schedule recommends that, by the age of 18 months, infants should have received the following vaccines, which offer protection against 15 diseases:

• Three doses of hepatitis B (at birth, six weeks and nine months)

• One dose of BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin – tuberculosis vaccine) (at six weeks)

• Two doses of rotavirus (two months, and four months)

• Three doses of the combined DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough), IPV (inactivated polio vaccine), and Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b) at two, four, and six months); a booster dose at 15 months

• Four doses of pneumococcal vaccine (Prevnar) at two, four, and six months and 12 months

• One dose of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) at 15 months; and a booster dose at (18 months)

• One doses of varicella (chickenpox) at 12 months and a booster dose at 4 years

• Children also need booster doses of combined DTaP and IPV and a second dose of Varicella (chicken pox) at school entry (four to five years). 

• Annual influenza (flu) vaccine is recommended for children six months and older and all adults.

• Human papillomavirus (HPV) Gardasil 9 vaccine is offered to girls and boys in Year 7 in public schools with parental consent.

• In addition to childhood immunisation, vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases for adults are also available, including, boosters for tetanus and diphtheria, Zoster vaccines against shingles, as well as the annual influenza vaccine, COVID-19 Vaccine and Pneumococcal vaccines.

For information regarding immunizations, contact your private pediatrician or the following district health centres:

Public Health Department: 244-2648

West Bay Health Centre: 949-3439

Bodden Town Health Centre:  947-2299

East End Health Centre: 947-7440

North Side Health Centre: 947-9525

Faith Hospital, Cayman Brac: 948-2243

Little Cayman Clinic: 948-0072 /916-5395

Childhood immunisation schedule is also available online https://www.hsa.ky/public-health/ .


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