Tuesday, April 29 –The British Virgin Islands Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) and the Ministry of Health and Social Development have joined with the countries of the Americas and the Caribbean in celebrating the 12th Annual Vaccination Week from April 27th to May 3rd 2014.
This year’s theme is “Vaccination: Your Best Shot”, which started yesterday with Health Education Talks on Hepatitis B Vaccine at the Nurse Iris O’Neal Clinic in Virgin Gorda and on Tortola at the Road Town Health Centre, Sea Cows Bay Clinic and the Elmore Stoutt High School.
During this week, persons within the community can obtain the Hepatitis B Vaccination at a discounted price at any Public Health Clinic.
Vaccination Week observance in the Territory will continue with community out-reach vaccination sessions, patient vaccination updates, and the judging and announcement of the winners for the essay competition for high school students and poster competition for primary school students.
The Manager for the Expanded Programme of Immunization, Nurse Marina Bedeau stated that, “Immunizations not only protect individuals but the whole community, as each immunized individual aids in preventing community outbreaks and protect against many diseases such as Tuberculosis, Polio, Hepatitis B, Measles and Chicken Pox to name a few, in addition most schools require updated immunization records to enroll students.”
The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) is urging countries of the Americas and the Caribbean to educate its citizens about the importance of immunization, and is therefore advising persons traveling to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil to ensure that they are protected from contracting Measles/Rubella.
According to PAHO/WHO, “The countries of the Americas region have been free of Measles and Rubella since 2002 and 2009 respectively; therefore travelers who are not up to date with their vaccinations are at a higher risk of contracting either disease when in close contact with travelers from countries where the viruses still circulate.”
The Expanded Programme of Immunization therefore recommends that members of the Virgin Island community attending the 2014 Brazilian event who is over six months old should be vaccinated against measles/rubella no later than two weeks before departure.
Persons requiring additional information can contact the Expanded Programme on Immunization by calling 852-7620 or 541-1671 or by visiting any Public Health Clinic.
The British Virgin Islands Health Services Authority is committed to delivering excellent, compassionate, and client-centered healthcare in the Virgin Islands.