"Vaccination Week" will be observed this year from April 24 to May 1, under the slogan: "Reaching Everyone".

The eighth annual Vaccination Week in the Americas will place priority on reaching groups that otherwise have limited access to health services and are at higher risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases.

To mark the occasion, the Ministry of Health in Barbados will be embarking on a ???mop-up’ campaign for the second measles, mumps, rubella (MMR-2) vaccination.

This will see public health nurses visiting primary schools to ensure that each child, not meeting the requirement for the MMR-2 vaccination, is immunised.

A team of nurses will visit the schools for the MMR2 vaccination over a three week period.

Aimed at improving immunisation coverage for MMR-2 in the three to five year old age group, the exercise will also seek to immunise older children. Additionally, materials, including pamphlets, will be distributed for public education.

In 2009, the Ministry undertook a survey to assess the level of immunisation in Barbados. The results showed that in general, immunisation coverage was "excellent". However, the findings also indicated that the MMR-1 vaccine was slightly delayed and the MMR-2 coverage of children ages three to five needed to be improved.

The public is reminded that immunisation is a requirement for school entry.

As part of the week of activities, the Health Ministry will, next Thursday, April 29, hold a workshop to update some 150 health care providers and senior health officials on the new protocols for "fever and rash" and acute flaccid paralysis.

The workshop will be conducted in the auditorium of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

??"Vaccination Week" was first proposed in 2003 by Health Ministers of the Caribbean and Latin American region, when they were responding to an outbreak of measles. Although the effort is being championed by PAHO/WHO, other partners include UNICEF, USAID, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Red Cross and service clubs, such as Rotary International and the Kiwanis.


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