by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Vaccination Week in the Americas starts today, April 22.
The week is a regional health awareness campaign celebrated every year during the last week of April to promote equity and access to vaccination.
The government of St. Kitts and Nevis joins the rest of the region and the world in bringing awareness to inequality and inequity in vaccine access to the most vulnerable, as seen with the height of the COVID-19 vaccine rush when rich countries bought out much of the approved vaccines.
Prime Minister of the Federation and Minister of Health, Hon. Dr Terrance Drew, on the occasion of the 21st annual Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) and the 12th World Immunization Week (WIW) under the theme: “Get up-to-date. #EachVaccineCounts” delivered an address to the nation.
In his address, the Prime Minister shared focus objectives for the government’s Expanded Program on Immunization schedule during Vaccination Week in the Americas and to target those whose children are not up to date with vaccines.
Dr Margherita Ghiselli, an Immunization Advisor with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), during a press briefing focusing on updates on vaccination in the Americas on April 20, said more than 11,000 children younger than one year who live in the Caribbean, almost one in ten did not receive all of their vaccine doses for diseases like measles, rubella, and mumps.
She stressed that it is crucial to spread vaccination coverage rates in all countries and territories of the Caribbean despite the relatively high vaccination coverage in the region.