Guyana introduces bivalent oral vaccine

first_imgGuyana has been listed among the 36 countries of the Region of the Americas to have switched from oral polio vaccine (tOPV), containing types 1, 2 and 3 polioviruses, to the bivalent oral vaccine (bOPV), containing only types 1 and 3.The decision for the switch in vaccine was made through the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) in June 2015 and all 36 countries successfully switched within the established timeframe, between April 17 and May 1, 2016.There are three serotypes of polioviruses, each of which can cause paralytic poliomyelitis. The Sabin oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV), which has been used globally by WHO in the eradication effort, is a trivalent vaccine that contains all three serotypes.In September 2015, WHO declared that wild poliovirus type 2 has been eradicated from the planet – no cases caused by this serotype had been detected since November 1999.However in 2015, there were nine cases of poliomyelitis caused by the type 2 vaccine. For these reasons WHO decided to remove the type 2 Sabin strain from OPV, and switch from trivalent to bivalent vaccine in April 2016.Guyana has had success with its Immunisation Programme over the last decade.This has come about with the strategies used to combat preventable diseases in children.Measles, mumps and Rubella vaccines was introduced in 1995, in 1998 – Hepatitis B to health workers and other high risk groups, in 1999 – Yellow Fever, in 2000 and 2001- Pentavalent vaccines, in 2010 – Rotavirus, in 2011 Pneumococcal vaccines.The Human Papilloma Virus Vaccines was introduced in 2011. This vaccine works as a prevention measure to fight cervical cancer and is being administered to young girls, 9-13 years of age.Active surveillance is maintained for poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, and rubella, tetanus including neonatal and adult, diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis), tuberculosis and yellow fever and all other diseases.We are constantly monitoring the signs and symptoms of any vaccine preventable disease. Testing and confirmation for these vaccine preventable diseases is also being done in collaboration with PAHO/WHO.Towards this end, there has been significant achievement in the EPI programme in Guyana. Guyana has maintained a polio free status since 1991, no reported cases of Measles and the last case of yellow fever was in 1968.Vaccination coverage has always been maintained at over 90 per cent in the antigens under one year of age over the last five years at the national level.This illustrates the government’s commitment to ensure that children are protected against the vulnerable diseases and reduce childhood mortality.last_img

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