26th April 2016
With the 14th annual Vaccination Week in the Americas being staged this year from April 23rd to 30th, hundreds turned out for the Regional Switch Day which was also observed here in Antigua and Barbuda.
The event, which saw clinics across the island switching from Trivalent to Bivalent Vaccines for Polio, was gladly accepted by residents with three of the two dozen clinics recording overwhelming interests from the general population.
According to reports from Nurse Coralita Joseph, the Superintendent of Public Health Nurses and Manager of the Expanded Program on Immunization, Clare Hall, Browne's Avenue and the Gray's Farm Clinics saw a large number of residents using the opportunity to get vaccinated.
One of the nurses involved in the program is Public Health Supervisor at the Gray's Farm Clinic, Gretcene Quallis who explained the significance of today's event.
"Today is every significant because it is part of immunization week and we are very excited because we have eradicated one of the viruses that cause Poliomyelitis and so from today we are giving the Bivalent instead of the Trivalent Polio Vaccine. So Today, Tuesday the 26th is our Switch Day for Polio because one of the Polio version, the number two virus has been eradicated and that is a plus for primary health care", Nurse Quallis noted.
In regards to the naysayers and those who vehemently oppose vaccination, Nurse Quallis said that the message is simple: "Immunization and Vaccines work."
"We have been proving ourselves and some of those very same persons who were against vaccines have had a change of heart and have come to the realization that vaccines do save lives and looking back from 1999, we have not had any Poliomyelitis and so we can say that vaccines save lives, vaccines eradicate infections and this is proven in our morbidity and mortality rates", Nurse Quallis said.
"Vaccination Week in the Americas" will conclude on Saturday.
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