Public warned against vaccination complacency

vaccineWith the government spending 5 percent of its annual health budget on providing free vaccines to Dominicans, the Ministry of Health is advising the general public against complacency in taking vaccinations.

This advice has come as Dominica joined its counterparts in the region in observing vaccination week of the Americas this week, under the theme: “Vaccination: A shared Responsibility”.

Senior Community Health and Manager of the Expanded Programme on Immunization in Dominica, Nurse Florestine Antoine Lewis, in an exclusive interview with the Government Information Service on Friday said while Dominica’s rate of immunization is high, it is important that nationals continue to be vaccinated to ensure that they are protected against vaccine preventable diseases.

“Even if our immunization coverage remains high, 95 percent and above for most of the vaccines, there are still some children whose parents have refused getting then vaccinated,” she said

Nurse Lewis said back in 2012, there were two antigens for which vaccines were provided, and there was less than 95 percent coverage.

“The MMR was 94% and the DPT was 81%, so we do not want to become complacent as far as vaccines are concerned. We want to maintain our immunization coverage at a high level so that we prevent those diseases from coming into our island,” she said.

The community health nurse warns that when vaccine coverage is not maintained at high levels, previously controlled diseases can make a dramatic comeback.

Nurse Lewis said children under the age of five who are not vaccinated are at the highest risk.

“Children, who are under the age five, if not vaccinated, will develop to be susceptible who are people who will be exposed to viruses. For example, the Pertussis (whooping cough), if our community is not effectively protected against Pertussis then persons who are not immunized can come down with the disease,” Lewis explained.

Nurse Lewis told GIS news that the Ministry of Health is working to ensure that people who have not kept up to date with their vaccinations are contacted as part of a wider vaccine sensitization drive.

“At our clinics we have immunization corners, the nurses conduct sessions with community members on vaccines. We are also encouraging persons who have defaulted to visit the health centre to be vaccinated,” the health official pointed out.

She continued, “The nurses have gone back and looked at their registers because everyone who has been vaccinated is entered into a register and they have picked out those persons who have defaulted and are going to them, be it at their homes or wherever they can be found to ensure that they are vaccinated”.

Some of the vaccines administered in Dominica include the BCG vaccine which protects against Tuberculosis, the DPT vaccine which protects against Pertussis, the polio vaccine and the MMR Vaccine.

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  1. Dr Heather
    April 29, 2013

    I concur with Openeyes Observer. It seems as though many in the medical establishment are quick to coerce patients into blindly vaccinating while only stating the negative consequences of not vaccinating. There are pro’s and con’s to everything. Mercury, (a neurotoxin), is only the beginning of what can be found in vaccines. Aluminum, Formaldehyde, Aborted fetal tissue (human serum albumin) and MSG are some other things also found in vaccines.

    Some have noted trends of vaccines doing more harm than good.

    Some medical Doctors suggest a delayed vaccination schedule if you do choose to vaccinate your children.

    Some choose homeopathic alternatives to vaccines.

    Some choose to eat a healthy balanced diet, and build up their immunity naturally.

    At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you and your family. Don’t make those decisions based on scare tactics. Do your homework. The information is out there.

  2. yeah right
    April 27, 2013

    Rubbish! Provide vaccine first and then come and tell me that. How long I waiting for a vaccine for my baby. Clean your yard first before looking at the public.. Stupes

  3. Aye Dominique
    April 27, 2013

    Maybe we need to seek partnership with the schools. Great place to start. Maybe we need to follow the bigger countries and get nurses in the schools, they do a brilliant job in helping students.

    Whooping cough is making a comeback, we need to be careful.

  4. Unsure
    April 27, 2013

    What age range exactly is this article targetting? I am lost because the flu virus attacked many people in Dominica, and the health care people gave the flu vaccine to the elderlies and babies only. Please inform further

  5. chen ling don
    April 27, 2013

    PUBLIC???? come on Ministry of Health! allu know very well who are the defaulters. Dominica have had a very effective vaccination program throughout the 70’s 80’s and 90’s.

    Now with the proliferation of illegal migrants,from Hispaniola there are huge voids in vaccination discipline. The reason being that these individuals come from countries that are notorious for low vaccination penetration rates.

  6. Openeyes Observer
    April 26, 2013

    Please let parents know the ingredients in the vaccines. The effects of which show up years later. Mercury is a main ingredient that many are unaware of. I urge everyone to do their research before they get vaccinated. It’s all about money for the big pharmaceutical companies. The main protection against infections is having a strong immune system, helped by having a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition and exercise. But, please don’t believe what I am saying. Please do your own research.

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