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Vaccination Week
in the Americas
2004 Web Page

Preventing Disease and Protecting Health

PAHO Coordinates Launches of Vaccination Week in the Americas

Washington, DC, April 21, 2004 (PAHO)—Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) director Dr. Mirta Roses Periago will launch in Haiti on Saturday the Vaccination Week in the Americas.

She said that the week-long immunization effort throughout the Americas "demonstrates our strong commitment to work together to improve the health of the people of the Americas, especially the children."

The week-long events from April 24-30, coordinated by PAHO, will focus on the children normally left behind, those living in rural border regions, and the most vulnerable groups, including women and the elderly.

Countries from Canada to the southern tip of South America and throughout the Caribbean will take part in the unprecedented effort, which will benefit millions of children, young women, and seniors, many in remote areas.

According to PAHO figures, targets for the immunization effort in Latin America and the Caribbean include some 15 million children, 10 million adults, 10 million people over 60 years old, 1.4 million women of childbearing age, and 1.7 million people in other risk groups.

Other scheduled launch ceremonies and immunization activities in other regions of the Americas include:

  • April 23: In the Dominican Republic. PAHO will be represented by Assistant Director Dr. Carissa Etienne.
  • April 23: In El Salvador.
  • April 23: In La Quiaca, on the border between Argentina and Bolivia.
  • April 23: In Guaira, on the border between Brazil and Paraguay.
  • April 23: In Guyana.
  • April 24: At Guasaule-Chorutega along the border between Honduras and Nicaragua. (Nicaragua actually began its immunization campaign last Monday [April 19] and estimates that about 1 million children will be immunized during VWA).
  • April 24: In Bogota, Colombia.
  • April 24: In Cucuta and Puerto Paez, on the border between Colombia and Venezuela.
  • April 24: In Rumichaca, on the border between Colombia and Ecuador.
  • April 24: In San Pedro Yepocapa, Chimaltenango, Guatemala. The Guatemalan government estimates it will immunize about 300,000 children and women between the ages of 15 and 49.
  • April 24: In Brasilea, on the border between Brazil and Bolivia.
  • April 24: Foz de Iguazu in Brazil. The Brazilian immunization campaign was actually launched on April 17 in Recife and Pernambuco.
  • April 24 through April 26: In the English-speaking Caribbean. The exception was Bahamas, where the program was launched today (April 21).
  • April 25: In Macara-Suyo, Calvas-Espindola and Zapotillo-Lancones, on the border between Peru and Ecuador. Peru's Health Ministry has announced it expects to immunize nearly 1 million women of childbearing age and 450,000 children ages 1 and under.
  • April 25: In Desaguadero-Puno, on the border between Peru and Bolivia.
  • April 26: In Honduras.
  • April 26: In Suriname.
  • April 28: In El Paso, Texas, on the U.S.-Mexican border.

PAHO's 35 countries were the first to eradicate smallpox in 1973 and polio in 1991, and are now aiming at measles and rubella.

PAHO was established in 1902 and is the world's oldest public health organization. PAHO works with all the countries of the Americas to improve the health and the quality of life of people of the Americas. It serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO). PAHO Member States today include all 35 countries in the Americas. France, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are Participating States. Portugal and Spain are Observer States, and Puerto Rico is an Associate Member.

For more information, video material, or photographs please contact: Daniel Epstein, Office of Public Information, (202) 974-3459, e-mail:

Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, United States of America
Tel.: +1 (202) 974-3000 Fax: +1 (202) 974-3663

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