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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

HAITI: US, Haiti Kick Off Vaccination Campaigns


Associated Press (04.17.12) - Tuesday, April 17, 2012

An ambitious campaign to vaccinate 90 percent of Haitian youths against infectious diseases including hepatitis B, measles, and polio will start this week, health officials announced Monday during a visit to the Eliazar Germain hospital in Port-au-Prince.

"We know the population in Haiti remains at risk for cases imported from other parts of the world because of low vaccine coverage rates here for both polio and measles rubella among infants," said US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "That's why an important part of the reconstruction efforts after the January 2010 earthquake response was rebuilding the childhood immunization infrastructure." Vaccination for measles and polio begins Saturday, said Health Minister Dr. Florence Duperval Guillaume. Starting in June, the pentavalent vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenza type b will be made widely available. All the vaccines will be free, she added.

The GAVI Alliance of international health organizations, CDC, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are supporting the pediatric campaign, which is part of larger effort announced this month to vaccinate Haitians.


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