Premier urges parents to ensure kids are vaccinated

| 25/04/2016

CNS Local Life(CNS): With the start of Vaccination Week on Saturday, 23 April, Premier and Minister of Health Alden McLaughlin is urging parents to check their children’s immunisation records and to ensure that they are up to date. Cayman will join other countries in the Americas in observing the 14th Vaccination Week in the region. This year, the theme is “Go for the gold! Get vaccinated!”, picking up on the momentum from the Olympics games in Brazil in August.

Cayman has a solid track record on immunisation programmes over the last 60 years, eliminating small pox, polio, neonatal tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, measles and rubella.

While McLaughlin said the country took pride in having achieved immunisation rates of more than 95% of infants against some diseases and 96% at school entry, the statistics suggest that the work is not finished yet.

“Steadfast, we will move forward,” McLaughlin said in a message about Vaccination Week. “To achieve higher rates in immunisation, we must continue to share responsibility and foster and maintain partnership between healthcare workers and parents/guardians alike.”

He added government was committed to the collaboration efforts and described vaccination as an act of love.

“I am pleased that the Cayman Islands is among the leading countries that offer free vaccines to all children through our Public Health Department,” he said, while urging parents to check their children’s immunisation records. “You can also contact the Public Health Department or nearest District Health Centre to schedule an appointment for your child to receive missed doses of vaccines,” he added.

The annual Vaccination Week, launched in April 2003 and endorsed by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), draws attention to the work of national immunisation programmes and efforts to improve access to life-saving vaccines. To date, more than 580 million people have been vaccinated under the umbrella of this initiative.

The World Health Organisation said that immunisation is one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions of the 20th century. Infants and senior citizens benefit from a simple regimen of shots that prevent millions of deaths every year, and provides protection against life-threatening diseases including polio, diphtheria, measles, tetanus and some cancers.

Here in Cayman the public can attend a special Immunisation Clinic on Saturday 30 April, at the Public Health Department from 10am to 3pm, to assist all children needing vaccinations, including those with missed/outstanding doses; parents will be contacted to schedule appointments. All adults needing tetanus boosters; healthcare workers requiring vaccines or people who are planning overseas travel within the next three weeks are invited to attend.  No appointment is necessary and vaccines will be given on a first come, first serve basis.

For more information, contact the Public Health Department on 244-2648

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Category: Medical and Health

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