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Low vaccination rates must be combated



Published March 24, 2019 at 16:44
(Updated on March 24, 2019 at 4:44 pm)

  •   A working group has been set up to tackle vaccine problems.

    A working group has been set up to tackle vaccine problems.

The Ministry of Health has set up a working group to counteract the fear of Bermuda's lack of immunization.

The working group consists of departmental staff, GPs and members of the public, and will focus on training.

The Department said it wants parents to have their children vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella, and all other vaccines in the clinic receive timetable for vaccination of Bermuda children.

Children should be shot for the first time at the age of 1

5 months and at the age of four to six years.

Health Minister Kim Wilson said during the budget debate that last year's statistics showed Bermuda's vaccine coverage is 78 percent, well below the 95 percent global target.

She added, "The delaying of vaccines is a primary challenge."

A Health Ministry spokeswoman said low vaccine coverage increased susceptibility to recurrent vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, diphtheria and whooping cough.

The spokeswoman added that the Annals of Internal Medicine published evidence showing that vaccines were safe and effective.

She said a study in Denmark found no link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

But the spokeswoman added: "The outbreak of measles worldwide is still a threat to Bermuda.

"Traveling in and out of Bermuda increases the risk that someone with measles will come to Bermuda."

People with measles may experience fever, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes, followed by a rash.

The virus can be spread by sneezing, coughing and close contact and can live in a room for up to two hours after a person with measles was present.

The spokeswoman added, "The decision not to vaccinate can be severe, in addition to the inconvenience to the sufferer and the inconvenience caused by illness.

"A child who is believed to have measles may need to stay home for up to three weeks.

"It will not be possible to go to school or kindergarten or participate in their normal activities, even if it feels better until tests show that they can not spread the measles virus.

"Blood tests are necessary and can take up to two weeks to get the final results. Family members and close contacts may also need to stay home during this time.

"This may mean a longer break in work, the inability to leave the house to perform normal activities, and limited travel.

" A limitation is needed to prevent the spread of the measles virus to other people.

For more information about vaccination or to make an appointment, contact the Hamilton Health Center at 278-6460.



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