Vaccinate your children - Health Ministry

August 31, 2017
Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr Winston De La Haye (left), administers polio drops to young Mickayla Edwards, during the official launch of the 14th Vaccination Week in the Americas at Emancipation Park in New Kingston on April 23. Observing the procedure (from right) are Director of the Pan American Health Organization, Dr Carissa F. Etienne, and Mickayla's mother, Carla Peart.

 

The Health Ministry is reminding parents to ensure that their children are fully vaccinated before sending them to school in the new school year.

Vaccinations are given to prevent 10 diseases that have historically proven harmful to children, causing serious complications and even death, including polio, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus and hepatitis B.

The vaccines are commonly administered by drops in the mouth or through injections.

Programme development officer in the family health unit at the Ministry of Health, Dr Julia Rowe Porter, said it is mandatory for children to be vaccinated for these diseases before attending school.

The Ministry, therefore, mandates that children entering day care, preschool, nursery, primary and prep school must be properly vaccinated.

"There is a vaccination schedule that starts at birth and the vaccination schedule that every child must adhere to, and this goes up to the age of six.

Once they enter primary school or prep school, which will be children around seven years of age, they should be adequately and fully immunised to enter," she said.

Dr Rowe Porter pointed out that the vaccines are the first line of defence to protect a child's underdeveloped immune system against diseases.

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