WASHINGTON (CMC) – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says Caribbean nationals will be among more than 70 million people who will be vaccinated against a variety of dangerous preventable diseases later this week.
PAHO said that initiative will form part of the activities marking the 16th annual Vaccination Week in the Americas that will be celebrated from April 21-28 and aimed at promoting the vital role of vaccination in saving lives.
PAHO said the theme for the campaign is “Strengthen your defense! #GetVax #VaccinesWork,” and was chosen in honour of the 2018 soccer World Cup.
PAHO said it also “seeks to encourage the population in general, and particularly those planning a trip abroad, to get vaccinated in order to strengthen their immune systems and avoid disease.”
As part of the Vaccination Week in the Americas celebrations, PAHO said 11 countries have announced their intention to strengthen measles immunization through the vaccination of six million people.
PAHO said the endemic measles virus was eliminated in the Americas but continues to circulate in other parts of the world.
“Vaccination Week is a great opportunity to unite efforts in protecting the health of the population,” said Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, PAHO’s Dominican-born director.
She said vaccination and surveillance are particularly important for the region “to ensure that diseases such as measles do not get reintroduced.”