The countries of the region last week celebrated the history and success of the vaccine by observing the 16th anniversary of the Immunization Week in America from April 21 to 28
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said in one News release that last week it was reminded of its joint mission to ensure that all people, especially young children, get their vaccinations at the right time in the life course.
According to PAHO, Jamaica and its Caribbean neighbors have been global leaders for years in eradicating disease through vaccination. At the 2012 World Health Assembly, Caribbean leaders adopted a resolution to boost vaccinations and coordinate efforts to promote vaccination, PAHO said. This led to the birth of World Immunization Week
PAHO said it was proud to work with health ministries to tell the story of the benefits of vaccines and vaccines.
"If all people receive the vaccines they need, and if vaccine services are effectively integrated with other public health services, the result will be a stronger defense against disease for children and adults, and essentially a healthier and more stable population," she said dismissal.
PAHO said that it was the extended program to vaccinate in all American countries including the Caribbean 40 years ago. The success of this program in the Caribbean is confirmed by the fact that the last cases of locally transmitted vaccine-preventable diseases in 2001
According to PAHO, polio has been exterminated to 99 percent of the world and the number of measles deaths has dropped by more than 80 percent, highlighting the strength of the vaccine.  "Today's mothers and grandmothers may and may never see such diseases Fortunately, many families will never know how devastating they can be to young boys and girls, and these diseases can lead to long-term disability or even death There is no cure for most of these diseases and treatment is only through supportive care and treatment of complications, "said PAHO.
But, as the region has not had polio for over 35 years and measles for over 26 years, PAHO said this has contributed to some complacency regarding the vaccine against these diseases.
"Is Jamaica and the Caribbean endangered to reoccur on their shores?" Asked PAHO. "The simple answer is yes!"
The Americas region has eliminated these diseases, but they have not been eradicated, like smallpox, from the world, "the release continued.
PAHO said international travel and tourism still puts Caribbean countries in great trouble for these diseases Danger and creates a real risk of regaining their footing in the countries.
"The Caribbean is a prime travel destination that receives over 25 million international visitors through stopovers and cruises in 2016 alone. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council's report, Travel and Tourism, Economic Impact 2017, which was published in March 2017, this industry is the Caribbean's gross domestic product (GDP), accounting for almost five percent.  "This trend is only expected to increase and by 2027 it is predicted that the contribution of travel and tourism will be 17.7 percent of the GDP of the Caribbean," it said.
The Caribbean receives visitors and immigrants from all over the world; Many come from countries where measles and rubella are commonplace. Although only three countries in the world still suffer from locally transmitted polio, PAHO said that the Caribbean is still at risk from the disease, as countries' participation in global sports, religious and trade events increases the risk of transmission Person to another.
"Today, travelers can travel from one continent to another in less than 24 hours and carry unknown viruses, so disease transmission from one country to another is a real possibility," the press release said.
With increasingly vocal voices against vaccinations and the resulting decline in coverage of vaccines in countries around the world, outbreaks of measles, rubella, diphtheria, whooping cough and other vaccine-preventable diseases are on the rise, PAHO said.
"Last year, the number of measles cases in Europe was four times higher than in the previous year (2016), and measles continue to thrive in all other continents of the world, and America, including the Caribbean, has not been spared imports. In the first three months of 2018, 11 countries reported measles cases in America, with cases imported or linked to imported cases in ten of these countries, compared to only four countries reporting cases in 2017.
"The ongoing outbreak measles (including childhood deaths) in one of the countries of North and South America is a clear indication of the importance of ensuring adequate protection of the population in order to prevent such outbreaks, even if imported cases were found " Press Release.
The Pan American Health Organization has its technical advisory group For vaccinations, countries are called upon to reach and receive at least 95 percent of all vaccines that are used in every community or district, and not just nationally. PAHO said that only then could adequate protection of the entire population be guaranteed.
"In addition, countries need to strengthen their systems for early detection and management of imported cases and set up rapid response teams to investigate and control outbreaks," said PAHO. "Since the Caribbean is free of polio, measles and rubella, only a confirmed case of one of these diseases would be considered an outbreak."
Vaccination is the only defense against vaccine-preventable diseases; Vaccinations continue to save and save the lives of more than 1.5 million children every year, the press release said. The increased activities of Immunization Week since its launch in 2003 have benefited more than 720 million people from vaccinations against a wide range of diseases, PAHO said.
"… It's time to look back on achievements and do not take the achievements for granted. Strengthen your defense! #GetVax #VaccinesWork.", Said the release.