Vaccination Week 2010 - Grenada

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ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22, 2010_ The main focus of health officials will be the immunization of vulnerable groups, as Grenada prepares to join the rest of the Caribbean and Latin America in commemorating “Vaccination Week of the Americas” (VWA).

This year marks the 8th anniversary of the VWA. The slogan for the 2010 initiative, which runs from April 24 to May 1, is “Reaching Everyone.’’

Vaccination Week is an unparalleled effort led by regional countries to strengthen what is known as the Expanded Program on Immunization in the Region. The program’s goal is to reach populations with otherwise limited access to regular health services, and which are at heightened risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases.

Local health officials have planned a number of events, including the official launch on April 26th of the Expanded Program on Immunization Manual for Grenada. There will also be several community-based health-related activities, including initiatives to increase public awareness of the importance and benefits of immunization. Health officials also plan on emphasizing the importance of vaccination among various groups such as fisher-folks, farmers and teachers.

The vaccination message will also be taken to pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions by nurses throughout the nation’s six health districts.

Background: In 2002, prompted by a measles outbreak in Venezuela and Colombia, the health ministers of countries in the Andean region propose an annual Vaccination Week in the Americas to help prevent such future outbreaks.  In the 8 years since VWA was first implemented, over 288 million people across the age spectrum have been vaccinated against a wide range of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, rubella, yellow fever, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, and influenza, as a result of the initiative.

Multiple VWA social mobilization campaigns throughout the region have also been undertaken and the initiative has received ever increasing political support. 

Multiple social communication campaigns have also been conducted under the framework of VWA, promoting vaccination to the public as an important preventative health measure.