JAM | Jun 1, 2023

Jamaica falling behind on childhood vaccinations says Opposition

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes
(Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo)

Opposition Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Wellness Dr Morais Guy says that Jamaica is lagging on childhood vaccinations and reiterates his call for the Government to reinstate the usual childhood vaccination.

He noted that Jamaica typically has a high childhood vaccination rate in the high 90s, but the numbers have dropped to a concerning rate.

“We are now lagging, and what is more of a concern is that the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (German measles) vaccination rate is in the mid-80s in percentage terms. We cannot afford to retrogress,” said Guy.

The Opposition Spokesperson shared that last year he called on the Government to expedite the process of childhood vaccination, but the issue remains.

Opposition Spokesperson for health and wellness Morais Guy

Last month UNCIEF Jamaica called on the Health Ministry to intensify efforts to engage families and communities to ensure that every child receives their full schedule of childhood vaccinations.

The organisation noted that over the last 10 years, childhood vaccination rates in Latin America and the Caribbean have seen the biggest decline of any region, slipping from 93 per cent to 75 per cent.

UNICEF also shared that in Jamaica, 70 per cent of children under the age of one have never received a vaccine, which represents a threat.

According to reports from the World Health Organisation, low childhood vaccination rates are said to be an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and must be addressed.


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