Barbados will hold a number of activities to celebrate the 19th Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA), which runs from Saturday, April 24, to Friday, April 30.
This year’s slogan is Vaccines bring us closer. #Get Vax. The objectives of the week are to promote equity and access to immunisation, the transition from child to adult immunisations, and communication and cooperation between countries, and to serve as a platform for integrated activities.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic declared by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020, Barbados’ national plan will focus on two main areas:
• The administration of the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to priority groups (25 per cent of the island’s most vulnerable population received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine).
• Improving the coverage for routine childhood vaccines.
Activities leading up to the week will include a National Childhood Vaccine Outreach on Saturday, March 10, at the David Thompson Health and Social Services Complex, and the St. Philip, Randall Philips, Branford Taitt and Maurice Byer Polyclinics.
Open Days will also be held at polyclinics from Monday, April 12, to Friday, April 16, to bring children up-to-date with their vaccinations. The primary aim is to target defaulters and those who have been delayed due to disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Staff from the polyclinics will also visit day nurseries to screen for children who have defaulted and refer them to their clinics or private doctors to be immunised.
Additionally, adolescents who would have missed their second HPV (Human papillomavirus) vaccine will also be targeted during the Open Days.
The schedule is as follows: Monday, April 12, David Thompson Health and Social Services Complex; Tuesday, April 13, St. Philip Polyclinic; Wednesday, April 14, Randall Philips Polyclinic, and on Friday, April 16, Branford Taitt, Edgar Cochrane and Eunice Gibson Polyclinics.
During VWA, there will be a church service held at Calvary Moravian Church, Roebuck Street, St. Michael, on Sunday, April 25, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, has been invited to deliver remarks.
The administration of the second dose of the AstraZeneca Vaccine will continue throughout the week at each polyclinic and other selected sites. Polyclinics will also launch educational promotions on the importance of vaccines and their benefits.