This April marks the 16th anniversary of Vaccination Week in the Americas and the 6th World Immunization Week. This year the theme is inspired by the 2018 FIFA World Cup soccer games in Russia; the slogan is “Strengthen your defense! #GetVax #VaccinesWork.” Vaccination week in the Americas is celebrated April 23rd to 27th 2018.
Since its inception, more than 720 million people of all ages have been vaccinated against vaccine preventable diseases. The vaccination week initiative has been used to integrate other promotional and preventive health procedures into vaccination activities as well as highlight the importance of maintaining the achievements obtained in the region through vaccination. The goals of vaccination week are to:
- Improve access to vaccination for people of all ages through outreach to the underserved communities.
- Increase vaccination coverages of all vaccines.
- Raise awareness about vaccine preventable diseases and the importance of being immunized.
- Promote vaccination in the whole family.
- Boost other public health activities.
The Region of the Americas has been the global leader in the elimination of vaccine preventable diseases for many years. We were the first to eradicate small pox and the first to eliminate polio, measles, rubella, congenital rubella syndrome and neonatal tetanus. It is important for the region to sustain the elimination efforts particularly because of our risk of importation of these diseases from other areas such as Europe, Asia and Africa through travel. The TCI has been doing well in achieving and maintaining high coverages in the protection of its population from vaccine preventable diseases (VPD).
The expanded programme on immunization is in its 41st year and since its inception has seen much growth and achieved many milestones. We have seen the addition of both new and improved vaccines to the programme locally and regionally. This year the Turks and Caicos will see the addition of a new vaccine that is proven to prevent cervical cancer among women and the planned introduction of the pneumococcal vaccine which prevents pneumococcal disease by 2020. In 2017, we began works on an electronic immunization registry which will offer easier access to immunization services; this year we will fully implement the registry into the programme.
The activities for vaccination week are as follows:
- Outreach in daycare centers
- Outreach in schools
- Outreach in communities.
Vaccines are offered free of cost at all TCIG operated clinics to persons of all ages. Strengthen your defense get vaccinated today. #GetVax #VaccineWorks.
For more information on vaccines contact your health care provider or any of the public health nurses on the following numbers:
Grand Turk 338-5462
South Caicos 946-3216 or 946-3800
North Caicos 946-7194
Providenciales 338-5474 or 946-5613
Let us keep the TCI VPD free!