Immunisation week begins Saturday

Residents in the Cayman Islands are
urged to take notice of their immunisation needs from 24 April to 1 May when
the Cayman Islands observes Vaccination Week.

The main objective of the week is
to expand and strengthen immunisation programmes throughout the region by way
of promotional and outreach activities. 

The Public Health Department will
undertake a range of promotional
activities to increase awareness about immunisation, including TV and radio appearances
by the public health nurses, posters displays and stickers for children.

The theme for this week is Reaching
Everyone.

One of the major thrusts of
activities during World Vaccination Week is to encourage parents to ensure
their children are immunized and promote the many benefits of childhood immunisation.

The current childhood immunisation
schedule recommends that, by age 15 months, infants should have received the
following vaccines, which will protect them from 13 vaccine-preventable
diseases.

Three doses of Hepatitis B; (at
birth, 6 weeks, 9 months)

One dose of BCG (Bacillus
Calmette-Guerin – TB vaccine); (at 6 weeks)

 Three doses of Rotavirus ; (6 weeks, 4 months,
6 months)

Three doses of the combined DTaP
(diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough), IPV (inactivated polio
vaccine) and Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b) at 2, 4, 6 months)

Three doses Pneumococcal valent-7
(Prevnar) at 2, 4, 6 months)

One dose of Varicella (chickenpox)
& booster of Pneumococcal (at 12 months)

One dose of MMR (measles, mumps and
rubella); & a booster dose of combined DTaP and Hib. (at 15 months)

For the past two decades, Cayman’s immunisation
coverage of infants for most of the vaccines have been maintained at or over 90per cent. Despite the good immunisation
programme, the struggle continues to track and immunize children who fail to go
in for their vaccines. All parents are urged to learn more about childhood immunisation
and ensure that their children are completely immunized against serious
infectious diseases. 

Additionally, adults have also been
consistently receiving vaccines to prevent serious infectious disease. At the
Public Health Department in George Town, an Adult & Travel Health Immunisation
Clinic is held by appointment, each Thursday. 
The most common vaccines that adults routinely receive are boosters for
Tetanus and diphtheria and the annual influenza vaccine. 

However, other life-saving vaccines
are available for adults such as Pneumococcal, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A,
Meningococcal, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, whooping cough, and Varicella.

Travel vaccines, such as yellow
fever and typhoid would vary according to destination.  An important message to travellers is to
allow yourself sufficient time, several weeks – months to get all your vaccines
for your trip. Also, it must be borne in mind that vaccines take time to work, one
to four weeks, depending on the particular vaccine.    

 For assistance regarding immunisation/vaccination,
contact your private paediatrician or:

Public Health Department –             244-2648

West Bay Health Centre – 949-3439

Bodden Town Health Centre –          947-2299

East End Health Centre – 947-7440

North Side Health Centre – 947-9525

Faith Hospital, Cayman Brac – 948-2243

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