Vaccination campaign in the Americas kicks off in Haiti
Vaccination Week in the Americas which aims to reach some 40 million people began in Haiti on 24 April 2004. Coordinated by WHO's Regional Office for the Americas (PAHO), in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the massive campaign is targeting women, children, the elderly and those living in rural border regions in 35 countries.
Vaccination Week "demonstrates our strong commitment to work together to improve the health of the people of the Americas, especially the children," said Dr Mirta Roses, director of PAHO.
Targets for the immunization effort in Latin America and the Caribbean include some 15 million children, 10 million adults, 10 million people over 60 years old, 1.4 million women of childbearing age, and 1.7 million people in other risk groups. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, in the US alone, around 1 million children remain inadequately immunized.
Vaccination Week in the Americas aims to highlight the need for routine vaccinations to improve coverage, especially in rural areas, and it also hopes to promote access to health services. Most of the countries are vaccinating against measles, polio, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome; some are also vaccinating against influenza and neonatal tetanus.