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  • Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is encouraging persons to get immunised against diseases such as Measles, as non-action can have severe impact on the population.
  • The Minister, who was delivering the keynote address at a National Immunisation Fair held on April 30 under the theme, ‘Protect Your Health. Do Your Part. #GetVax’, at the Spanish Town Prison Oval in St. Catherine, said immunisation is not only a personal issue but also a “duty and responsibility for community and country”.
  • “One of the reasons measles is raising its ugly head again, and coming out and infecting a lot of people, is because we have a lot of persons in the world who have become either complacent around immunisation and vaccination, or just outrightly refuse to take that injection,” he told the audience.

Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is encouraging persons to get immunised against diseases such as Measles, as non-action can have severe impact on the population.

The Minister, who was delivering the keynote address at a National Immunisation Fair held on April 30 under the theme, ‘Protect Your Health. Do Your Part. #GetVax’, at the Spanish Town Prison Oval in St. Catherine, said immunisation is not only a personal issue but also a “duty and responsibility for community and country”.

“One of the reasons measles is raising its ugly head again, and coming out and infecting a lot of people, is because we have a lot of persons in the world who have become either complacent around immunisation and vaccination, or just outrightly refuse to take that injection,” he told the audience.

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Advisor on Immunisation in the Caribbean, Dr. Karen Lewis-Bell (left), interacts with participants at the National Immunisation Fair held on April 30 under the theme ‘Protect Your Health. Do Your Part. #GetVax’ at the Spanish Town Prison Oval in St. Catherine.

 

The occasion was also used to observe the 17th Vaccination Week of the Americas, and Dr. Tufton emphasised that if care is not taken to get more persons to believe in medicine and the safeguards of immunisation and vaccination, persons might be at risk.

“If we are not careful – the very science around immunisation has saved so many lives and protected so many of us in the world, and in Jamaica – we run the risk because of the influence of a minority group,” the Minister said.

Each year, Jamaica joins more than 40 countries and territories in the Region of the Americas to celebrate Vaccination Week as a means of raising awareness on the importance of immunisation.

This year, the event is being celebrated with activities running from April 20 to May 3, with national and local fairs.

Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton (centre), interacts with health officials at the National Immunisation Fair, held on April 30 under the theme ‘Protect Your Health. Do Your Part. #GetVax’, at the Spanish Town Prison Oval in St. Catherine.

 

Objectives of Vaccination Week are to promote equity and access to vaccination for people of all ages, regardless of where they live; increase vaccination coverage of all antigens; raise awareness on how immunisation saves lives; and keep the topic on the national agenda.

The national immunisation schedule was designed to have all infant and young children comprehensively immunised against 10 targeted diseases – tuberculosis (TB), diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, poliomyelitis (polio), measles, mumps, rubella, haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and hepatitis B.