Ministry of Health, Local Government, Transport and Communication

VACCINATION WEEK IN THE AMERICAS

Belmopan - 19 April, 2007
This year Vaccination Week in the Americas is observed during the week of April 21 – 28. The objective is to reach children in hard to reach communities and complete vaccination schedule in communities with low vaccine coverage. This is an effort to prevent the occurrence of immune preventable diseases and increase the coverage for the second dose of MMR vaccine in children 2 years of age to 95%.

During this week, all clinics country wide will provide daily vaccination to all children within the 0-5 age group according to their needs. We are administering vaccines against Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR); Diphtheria, Pertusis (Whooping Cough), Tetanus, Hemophilus Influenza type-b, Hepatitis type-B (Pentavalet); Polio, and anti-Tuberculosis (BCG). Public Health and Rural Health Nurses will conduct house to house calls in selected communities during this week and extending to the month of May.

Vaccination Week in the Americas is an event observed annually in the Americas and the Caribbean since the year 2003. It is a public health initiative organized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), with three main objectives:
1. To maintain Measles interruption
2. To give impetus to efforts to end Rubella
3. To maintain Polio eradication

Belize participated for the first time in April 2004 achieving 88% coverage of children <5 years of age in low vaccination coverage areas, and 96% targeted males 5 – 35 years were vaccinated against Rubella. In April 2005, children 2 years of age were targeted with Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine, attaining 87% coverage. Last year we focused in promoting the second dose of MMR vaccination attaining 91% coverage of the target population. (ends)

Contact: Ms Beverly Phillips
Telephone: 8222068