Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Belize Commemorates Vaccination Week in the Americas

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The Ministry of Health is commemorating Vaccination Week in the Americas under the theme “Love. Trust. Protect. #GetVax.”

This year’s campaign brings to mind the love that people have for their children, themselves, and their communities, as well as the trust in the ability of vaccines to save lives and the protection they provide from diseases for everyone from everywhere.

Belize has maintained sustained vaccine coverage of over 95% for the past 10 years and aims to continue doing so. Belize vaccinates against 13 diseases as part of the National Vaccine Schedule. Within the past five years, the country has had notable achievements. In 2016, Belize received the certification for measles elimination. That same year, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was introduced to girls in standard IV across schools countrywide. In 2019, the hepatitis B birth dose vaccine was introduced.

The planned activities for Vaccination Week in the Americas 2020 were adjusted within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. All mass gathering activities such as vaccination campaigns have been cancelled. Parents are still called upon to schedule appointments for follow-up vaccinations either at the clinic or at their home. The public is asked to comply with the vaccinators as enhanced adequate infection control measures are being put in place for all.

Please make contact with the nearest public health clinic for assistance or follow-ups. Vaccine activities are currently being conducted for target groups including newborns and children ages nine, 12, and 18 months.

The Ministry of Health continues to maintain a heightened surveillance for measles in Belize, which is as threatening as COVID-19, since cases are growing in neighboring countries. Since the start of the year, the Ministry has sent a total of three suspected samples for measles to the Caribbean Public Health Agency Medical Laboratory in Trinidad. All have returned negative.

Vaccination Week in the Americas is celebrated annually during the last week of April. #GetVax – it is a community effort!

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