WHILE there is no problem to get people immunised, there is a problem in getting citizens to voluntarily take the influenza and the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccines.
This was disclosed by Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh yesterday at the 33rd Meeting of the Caribbean Immunisation Managers Programme held at Hilton, St Ann’s. Luckily, he said, TT’s immunisation programmes since the 1960s, have been among the best in the world. “We don’t have a problem in TT and I will like to keep it like that.
We don’t have that problem because to get your child or children into schools, they must be vaccinated, it is law. But in other countries it is not law and luckily we have the law on our side. TT don’t have a problem with the typical childhood diseases like MMRs, Measles, Polio and so on,” Deyalsingh said.
“We have to go on a huge public relation information drive to educate people that these vaccines are very safe and they would save lives.
All drugs have side effects, and if you pull out the rare side effects of any drug then we would not take any drug including Paracetamol because Paracetamol could affect your liver. Aspirin will affect your stomach, so if you pick out a side effect of any drug inclusive of vaccines, you would not take anything,” he said.
Deyalsingh said the ministry of health have given out 25,000 doses of the influenza vaccine, form October 2017 to date. Also addressing the meeting was PAHO/WHO representative to TT Dr Bernadette Theodore-Gandi who said immunisation is a proven tool for controlling and eradicating infectious diseases.
Between 2,000 and 2,008, measles deaths dropped worldwide by over 78 per cent and some regions have set a target of eliminating the disease.
Maternal and neonatal tetanus has been eliminated in 20 of the 58 high-risk countries, Theodore-Gandi said.