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July 2008 edition

Minister of Health of Nicaragua Guillermo Gonzáles administers polio vaccine to a child in Peñas Blancas, near the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border, during th sixth annual Vaccination Week in the Americas. This year's initiative focused on taking the benefits of immunization to people in difficult-to-reach places, including border communities such as Peñas Blancas.
(Photo ©Harold Ruiz/PAHO)


Vaccination Week '08 Advances toward Record Goals

Sixth annual initiative targeted 62 million people in 44 countries. Organizers hope for a future "World Vaccination Week."

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This year's Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA), held April 19-26 was the sixth and most ambitious yet since the hemispheric initiative was first launched in 2003.
With the theme of "caravan for health," millions of health workers and volunteers set out to vaccinate some 62 million people in 44 countries against diseases including measles, rubella, polio, tetanus, diphteria, yellow fever, rotavirus, hepatitis B, and whooping cough. Special targets were communities where vaccination rates are often lower.
Preliminary results reported so far include:

  • Peru vaccinated more than 9.2 million children, adolescents, health workers, police, members of the armed forces, and other risk groups against hepatitis B.
  • Brazil vaccinated more than 13.6 million senior citizens against seasonal influenza.
  • Mexico vaccinated nearly 21 million young adults against measles and rubella.

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Vaccination Week '08 Advances toward Record Goals

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