Wilson outlines vaccination plan
The Ministry of Health announced a plan of action today to encourage Bermudians to receive vaccination shots.
Kim Wilson, the health minister, said that Bermuda’s Strategy on Vaccination Hesitancy would aim to increase Bermuda’s vaccination coverage by 10 per cent by 2021.
The plan was put together after the ministry conducted research on the delay or refusal of vaccinations.
Ms Wilson said health officials would:
• Develop a phone application to provide reliable information on vaccines, clinic services, child growth and real-time news updates
• Implement a client exit survey to understand the delivery of vaccination services
• Organise programmes where health professionals will take the lead in receiving vaccinations • Create public forums for people to express concerns about vaccination
Ms Wilson announced her intention to increase vaccines for children under the age of six months in April.
She said that the number of children who received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine had dropped to 87 per cent — below the 95 per cent global target.
Ms Wilson added yesterday that the decreased global target, when combined with our status as a popular travel destination, made Bermuda more vulnerable to outbreaks of disease.
She said: “Not only is measles at our doorstep, being one flight away considering the recent outbreaks in New York City, but also because in Bermuda we have detected high levels of vaccine hesitancy, which means that not enough people have been vaccinated to give our people herd immunity.”
Ms Wilson issued the following advice:
• Parents should ensure that their children are vaccinated according to the recommended MMR vaccination schedule
• Travellers should have the appropriate vaccinations before travelling and be aware of their health when returning home
• Seniors should obtain the vaccinations they need to live well
• People in occupations at higher risk of exposure to vaccine-preventable diseases should be aware of their vaccination status
• To read Kim Wilson’s comments in full, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”