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St. Lucians to be Inoculated with Two New Vaccines

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Monday, July 01, 2002 - The Government of St. Lucia via the Ministry of Health, Human Services and Family Affairs has taken a bold decision to introduce two new vaccines into the public sector. Regional Advisor for Immunization attached to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Dr. Beryl Irons says by the introduction of the new vaccines, St. Lucia falls in line with other regional states in complying with the World Health Organization recommendations for immunization of persons against chronic diseases.

The new vaccines are Haemophilus Influenza Type B and Hepatitis B. “If we look at the vaccine called ‘Hep B’ for short, all population is at risk, from birth upwards,” said the PAHO consultant.

According to Dr. Irons, the vaccine was introduced many years ago but it was quite expensive. However, now governments of the Americas buy vaccines together via the PAHO revolving fund which has reduced the cost of the vaccine for governments. “Therefore when we look at economies of scale the cost of the vaccine has decreased significantly and it has become more affordable for countries to procure the vaccine and to incorporate it into their schedule.”

The other vaccine, ‘HIB’ for short, is to be administered to young children. The cost of the vaccines is being borne by government and works out to just over $EC12 per person. The vaccines, to be administered in three stages, will be introduced to new born infants in the first instance and will be given along with other common combination vaccines such as D.P.T.

Dr. Irons says as far as immunization against diseases is concerned, St. Lucia and the region are doing very well compared to the rest of the world.


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