Parents urged to keep up vaccination protection

| 28/04/2014

(CNS): With a 95% coverage rate on vaccinations against childhood diseases, Cayman has a high level of protection. However, officials are urging parents that have not kept their children’s shot schedule up to date to take advantage of the clinics provided this week to mark the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)'s 12th anniversary of Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA). Public Health staff will be contacting parents to schedule appointments for children with missed vaccinations. Dr Kiran Kumar, medical officer of health, said the Heath Services Authority only procures vaccines approved by PAHO and all vaccines used in Cayman are safe. 

“They are administered in accordance with guidelines from the World Health Organisation and the Pan American Health Organisation,” he added.

VWA is observed from 26 April to 3 May, and this year’s theme, “Vaccination: your best shot” was chosen to encourage people to protect themselves and the region against the importation of polio, measles and other vaccine preventable diseases in other parts of the world, in light of the upcoming World Cup.

The health minister also urged parents to take advantage of the immunization programmes.

“I cannot over-emphasize the fact that immunization represents an important investment in the health of our children and protecting our future generation,” said Osbourne Bodden in his immunization week message. “If we do not remain vigilant with maintaining our immunization schedules, diseases we have already eradicated will ultimately return. I encourage everyone to check whether you or your family members have had all the vaccines needed and check for any boosters that may be required. Contact your health centre for advice or needed vaccines.” 

Since its inception in 2003, more than 465 million individuals have been vaccinated during immunization week. The local Immunization Programme Coordinator, Nurse Angela Graham, said, “In the Cayman Islands, we continue to promote vaccination through advocacy, education and communication activities during this week."

Over the years the Public Health Department has developed and maintained a robust vaccination schedule for most vaccines. But Nurse Graham said there were still some children who don’t complete their vaccine schedule, leaving them at risk. Special clinics have been organized to assist any children with missed vaccinations and parents are urged to use this opportunity.  

The current childhood immunisation schedule recommends that by the age of 15 months, infants should have received the following vaccines, which offer protection against 13 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 vaccine (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).

Children also need booster doses of combined DTaP and IPV and 2nd dose of MMR at school entry (4-5 years). For children 6 months and older and all adults, an annual Influenza vaccine is recommended. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is offered to 11-12 year old girls and older children if they did not get vaccinated at this age. 

In addition to the childhood immunization, vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases for adults are also available, including boosts for tetanus and diphtheria and the annual influenza vaccine.

For information regarding immunizations contact your private pediatrician or the following District Health Centres:

  • 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
  • Little Cayman Clinic:   948-0072

Walk in Clinics on a first come first serve basis  for  children with missed vaccinations have been scheduled as follows:

West Bay Health Centre:                30 April 8:30am – 1:00 p.m.
Bodden Town Health Centre:         30 April and 2 May 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m
Public Health Clinic, CI Hospital:    2 May 8:30 am – 2:00 p.m.

Childhood Immunization Schedule and Facts on Vaccine Preventable Disease are attached below.

Category: Health

Comments (14)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is a bit off topic here but I want to know what is being done to regulate the health insurance carriers!  Today I was advised of the huge increase that has been levied for the BritCay Premier Health that I have had for years for my child and I, which i can now no longer afford. This is a very scary situation. Although our claims over the years have been minimal we are being made to suffer without any consideration. I want to know what the government will do about this type of injustice! If they do not do something we will all become burdens on social services and the HSA, not because we want to but because we have been forced to!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a scary and confusing topic. I have known of children who have suffered adverse effects from vaccines but the diseases that they are supposed to be protecting from are equally scary. It would be good if doctors and scientists could work together, without the interference of the big drug companies all controlled by greed.

  3. I am a doctor of medinsane says:

    There are natural cures for many diseases and illnesses today! But you will never see them produced by "any of the big Pharma Companies! Why? There is too much money to be made from selling stuff that relieves symptoms only, stuff that  keeps you coming back for more.

    It's all about money! The day that the FDA, the AMA or the Pharmaceutical Companies approve a drug to cure anything, we  should all start to worry, because that's the day when there will be  a world wide pandemic that affects "all of the families and friends of these groups above mentioned"  and the rest of us poor peons. Because money at that point would have no value! Because they are forced to save themselves.

    Don't get me wrong! I AM not, unappreciative of those things made by Big Pharma that  ease pain and relieve symptoms, but I must ask! Why do they let their fellow humans suffer from debilitating diseases like cancer, when they have knowledge of a cure for cancer since 1972? Instead, they would rather administer things like chemotherapy and radiation which can slowly harm the patient and may even cause death..

    Don't  take my word for it,  do yourself a BIG favor and go on line to  check out a video

    on YouTube Entitled: A CURE FOR CANCER FORTY YEARS AGO"  It will utterly 

    amaze you, it will fascinate you, it will touch your heart and soul,  and you are bound to

    shed a tear, when you see the suffering of some of those little kids who were subjected

    to radiation and chemo. You'll hear the testimonies of their parents and family who

    stand before members of the United States Congress begging them to approve this

    cure and allow this doctor to use it,  so that others may live!. "Those Senators all knew" 

    that this cure had been out there since 1972, but  were being pressured by the FDA  

    who generally are behind Big Pharma, who then pressures the AMA because of "big 

    Pharma's  life long obsession with making money. The FDA  did not approve this cure  

    until 2012, and even today Big Pharma is still trying give this doctor a hard time, all 

    because, they, "Big Pharma" it seems, would rather "Lose a Life", than to "Lose a 

    Dollar".    

    Also check out this web site for more details:  WWW.CANCERMED.COM. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Shoving these vaccines into caymanian kids, because their parents are so inept and  won't spent 20 min researching the web about vaccines complications is despicable.  Besides, I want to know if the pushers are getting paid by Big Farma.I am sure they do.

  5. UHUHUH says:

    It saddens me to see how  we here in the cayman Islands are still telling parents and guardians that they should have their kids [so called] immunized with the [HPV] Human Papillomavirus! The vaccine that supposed to protect young girls "and boys" from the virus that causes  cervical cancer. My advice to every parent out there is to go on line and Google "dangers of HPV vaccines. You will be astounded how dangerous it is. It is banned in several countries throughout the world. 

    Here are a few of the adverse reactions and dangers of this vaccine!

    1. Between 2009 and 2010 there were 16 recorded deaths that were directly attributed to HPV.

    2. There were 789 recorded cases of serious adverse reactions after HPV vaccinations.

    3. There are 100 types of HPV but  Gardasil protects against only 4 types.

    If You Love Your Kids!  Please Don't Push This Stuff on Them!

     THANKS!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Compared to the death rate and the sterility rate from what the vaccination is intended to prevent, these are fantastically low figures for negative outcomes.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Parents need to check out all these vaccinations that are being administered to their children.  They will find out that, some of the problems their children are having in later years cold be the result of prior vaccinations.  

    • Anonymous says:

      People like you are dangerous and lead to poor children being harmed unnecessarily by getting diseases after their stupid parents listen to crap like you spout.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are dangerous, promoting poorly tested vaccines that cause more damge than good in children, do your research as this parent has, then speak after informing yourself, obviously you have quite a bit to learn.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you 100%.  Not saying every vaccine under the sun is a bad thing but many of the new ones are leading to other debilitating affects in children and young adults.  Funny how there were two or three main vaccines in the 50's and 60's and now you can choose from hundreds to poke your kids with.  Its all about money now.  

  7. Anonymous says:

    The HPV vaccine should be offered to both girls and boys. Boys are not immune and can be carriers.

    • Anonymous says:

      To 17:06

      You can say whatever you want about those who choose to educate themselves but at the end if the day… If it's your daughter who becomes infertile or suffers many of the dangerous side effects you can look back on when you believed everything you were told by certain elements of society and wished that someone had told you the truth…

      here's just one article but there are hundreds… Educate yourselves and make your own decisions for your children…

    • Anonymous says:

      Its been proven that a great number of girls have died from the HPV vaccine.  Pharmaceutical companies disguise themselves as "advisroy boards" and boast these vaccines. Why? Money Duh!  They dont care about your health and hide damaging stastitics about these harmful vaccines.  I would never give my daughter this vaccine ever!