Misinformation Among Factors Blamed For Vaccination Drop – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has cited misinformation as one factor contributing to a drop in routine vaccination of children in the Americas.

 In addition to misinformation since the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Jarbas Barbosa also noted a false impression that eliminated and controlled diseases no longer pose a risk and reduced vaccine prioritization.

According to PAHO, 15 of every 100 children in the Americas have only partial protection against vaccine-preventable diseases.

“Historically, our Region has always been a leader in disease elimination. However, for more than a decade, vaccination coverages have significantly decreased,” Dr. Barbosa told a press briefing on Thursday.

From 20 to April 27th, 2024, PAHO, territories of the Region of the Americas, and its partners will celebrate the 22nd annual Vaccination Week in the Americas.

The PAHO Director underscored the need for more efforts to recover regional vaccination coverage, particularly for contagious diseases like measles.

 “This is very concerning, given the rise in measles cases around the globe and the highly contagious nature of this virus,” Dr. Barbosa said.

He assured that PAHO stands ready “to support countries as they strengthen disease surveillance, increase vaccination coverage rates in all corners of their national territory and avoid outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.”