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PAHO urges countries to maintain vaccination during COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted: Monday, April 27, 2020. 10:22 am CST.

By BBN Staff: The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is urging all countries to maintain vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PAHO advises countries to  strengthen vaccination against seasonal influenza and measles to prevent respiratory illness and vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The recommendations come on the commemoration of the 18th Vaccination Week in the Americas, which will take place April 25 – May 2 with the slogan “Love. Trust. Protect. #GetVax.”

Since 2003, more than 806 million people of all ages have been vaccinated against a wide range of dangerous diseases under the regional initiative promoted by PAHO.

“Vaccines save lives and must be maintained even during the COVID-19 pandemic. The most vulnerable should not suffer the consequences of not getting the vaccines they need. I commend countries in this region that have already adapted their campaigns to this ‘new reality’ and are making great efforts to keep vaccinating in a safe manner,” said PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne.

PAHO informs that vaccinating to prevent serious respiratory illness from flu and stop measles outbreaks is key to protecting people while helping health systems focus on the response to COVID-19.

Some 17 countries in the Americas have reported they are using the Vaccination Week in the Americas platform to vaccinate against influenza, and the other 17 plan to vaccinate against measles.

Three countries in the Americas – Argentina, Brazil and Mexico – are currently battling measles outbreaks, as well as dealing with COVID-19 cases.

PAHO has recommended that primary health care providers vaccinate against measles while taking measures to protect communities and health care workers from COVID-19.

PAHO says that immunization continues to be an essential service that must continue to keep people healthy and reduce burdens on health services so they can respond more effectively to COVID-19.

 

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