Parents, guardians reminded to vaccinate children
With the 2018-19 school year slated to begin in September, the Ministry of Health is urging parents and guardians to adhere to the schedule outlining clinic appointments for the vaccination of children.
Acting director of family health services in the ministry, Dr Melody Ennis, noted that clinic appointments must not be avoided, because of the deleterious effects that vaccine-preventable diseases can have on a child.
The effects are amputation of an arm or leg, paralysis of limbs, hearing loss, convulsions, brain damage and death.
"They also need to be reminded that, under law, they are liable if they wilfully prevent their children from being vaccinated," she said.
The Immunisation Regulations of 1986, which were amended in 2013, as well as the adolescent and adult vaccination policies, stipulate that all children under seven years of age must be adequately immunised prior to school entry.
This applies to children entering day care, nursery, preschool, basic school and primary school, whether publicly or privately operated.
Ennis acknowledged that Jamaicans have taken the safety and well-being of their children seriously, with a significant number of children from birth to six years being comprehensively immunised against the 10 targeted diseases.
They include influenza type B, hepatitis B, tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, rubella and mumps.
"It must be emphasised that 95 per cent coverage is required to adequately protect the individuals and the nation," Ennis informed.