Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Manager of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation, Mrs. Marina Fleming Bedeau is reminding residents of the importance of being vaccinated in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and as the Territory observes Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) 2020.
Mrs. Fleming Bedeau said despite the ongoing activities to create awareness about the importance of vaccination, COVID-19 has impacted the immunisation programme, reducing the capacity to deliver immunisations and hindering access to primary care services.
She stated, “Being up to date with one’s vaccination schedule is still very important; even more so now. Therefore we want to ensure that our children and adults are protected from vaccine preventable diseases such as measles which has an imminent risk of expanding in this area.”
Nurse Bedeau said immunisations will resume in the coming weeks, and safe ways must be found to deliver vaccines during this pandemic in keeping with the new normal of social distancing and other safety standards.
Some of these measures include:
- One parent and child will be seen at a time and face masks must be worn by parent or guardian during the duration of the visit
- Vaccination against measles is strongly advised. Children who are due for this vaccine will be given priority
- Persons who have been in contact or are living with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 should inform the nurse before attending the clinic
School and mass vaccination campaigns will not be conducted until further notice and healthcare workers are encouraged to be vaccinated against respiratory infections such as influenza and pneumococcus.
“The BVI has shown great capacity to ensure that its people are vaccinated and we must maintain this capacity now but we also need to ensure the readiness to deliver the vaccine for COVID-19,” Nurse Bedeau said.
Vaccination Week was implemented in 2002 with the objectives of promoting equity and access to immunisation to strengthen community health and reduce vaccine preventable mortality rates.
Vaccination Week was observed this year under the theme “Love. Trust, Protect. #GetVax”
BVI Health Services Authority is committed to delivering excellent, compassionate, client centered healthcare across the Territory.