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Saba Public Health Department Announces Vaccine “Catch-up” Campaign

SABA—Currently the Saba Public Health Department is conducting two important vaccination “Catch-Up” campaigns for children and adults.

Catch-up vaccinations refer to vaccinating individuals who missed vaccinations, or the vaccinations were not available as part of their youth standard vaccination schedule. The vaccinations are made available by the RIVM National Immunization program and are free of charge during these campaigns.

“Catch-up campaigns are important because they give people a chance to get protections that were not available to them previously. So far, we have a good number of registrations, but we want to make sure everyone knows what is available” explains Tedisha Gordon, Vaccine Manager for Public Health.


The two current campaigns are for the Chickenpox vaccination and the HPV vaccination.


Chickenpox

The chickenpox vaccine is offered to anyone over 5 years of age who has not yet had the chickenpox. This vaccine is two doses taken four to eight weeks apart.

For younger children, this vaccination has been added to the standard vaccination schedule.

Jenneke van Bussel, Public Health Nurse, explains, “the chickenpox virus is highly contagious, children may only get mild illness, but it can also spread to an adult who didn’t have it as a child; adults have the potential to become seriously ill, so I hope those that are eligible for the vaccine will take this opportunity”.


Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

The HPV vaccination is available for young adults, male and female, age 18-27. This vaccination protects against 6 types of cancer including cancer in the cervix, mouth, throat, anus, vagina and penis. On Saba, the HPV vaccination was added to the standard vaccination schedule for girls in 2013 and for boys in 2022. There is a fairly large population of young adults that currently qualify for this important vaccine. This vaccine is two doses, taken six months apart.


The next vaccination clinic is Thursday August 31st from 1:30PM to 5:30PM at the Public Health Office in the Bottom. No appointment is necessary, but you must register prior to the 31st. You can find Registration details on the Public Health Facebook page, or you can contact Public Health via email publichealth@sabagov.nl or WhatsApp 599.416.5373 or 599.413.5177.

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