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  • Writer's pictureSERHA Jamaica

MOHW and SERHA Host Vax Fest

Friday, April 26, 2024: The Ministry of Health and Wellness, in collaboration with the South East Regional Health Authority and the St. Catherine Health Department, hosted Vax Fest to offer different types of vaccines to the community members in and around Waterford in Portmore, St. Catherine on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, at the HEART College of Construction Services. With Vast Fest, Jamaica reaffirms its commitment to shore up the availability of vaccination services to communities and to close any gaps that remain across all age groups.

The public benefited from free Pap smear tests and vaccines, including pentavalent vaccines, polio vaccines, MMR vaccines, DPT vaccines, and DT vaccines, among others. Pap smear tests were also offered.

In his main address at the launch of the vaccination week in the Americas, Mr. Dunstan Bryan, Permanent Secretary, emphasized the importance of taking up the vaccines. He said that the ministry should look at all of the immunizations and antigens along the life course and offer them to not just our children but to all ages, including the elderly. These antigens will help the people of Jamaica live longer lives.

During his remarks, the Hon. Alando Terrelonge, Member of Parliament for East Central St. Catherine and State Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, said that he is proud of the strides made in health care. He added that his role at the launch is not just as one who legislates but as one who actively advocates to ensure that members of the community understand the importance of vaccination, similar to what was done during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week, Jamaica joins countries in the Region of the Americas, through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in celebrating the 22nd Annual Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA), under the theme, “Engage now to protect your future #GetVax." This is being done in conjunction with the 13th observance of the World Health Organization’s World Immunization Week. This vaccination week in the Americas allows the Health Ministry to reflect on the significant role that immunization plays in preserving life, supporting public health, and building a resilient future for all.

Mr. Ian Stein, PAHO/WHO Representative Jamaica, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands, explained the importance of vaccines to Mr. Dunstan Bryan (left), Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Wellness; Major Dr. Susan Wright (center), JP, Assistant Regional Technical Director, SERHA; Hon. Alando Terrelonge (second right), Member of Parliament for East Central St. Catherine and State Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; and Dr. Simone Spence (right), Director, Health Promotion & Protection, Ministry of Health and Wellness.


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