February 20, 2024

Cayman Islands observes Vaccination Week in the Americas

The Cayman Islands joins other member states of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) – North, Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean – for the 15th anniversary of Vaccination Week in the Americas.

This April, the countries and territories of the Americas and PAHO  will celebrate two important milestones related to immunisation: the 40thanniversary of the formation of the Expanded Program on Immunization, which has led to some of the biggest achievements in disease-elimination in the western hemisphere, and the 15th anniversary of Vaccination Week in the Americas.

This year, Vaccination Week takes place from 22 to 29 April, with the theme “#Getvax to celebrate a healthy tomorrow”.

“Since its inception in 2003, more than 640 million individuals of all ages have been vaccinated during campaigns conducted as part of this initiative,” said Cayman’s Expanded Program on Immunization Manager Nurse Angela Graham. “As a matter of priority, we will continue to promote vaccination through advocacy, education and communication activities during this week.”

The Public Health Department has developed and maintained a robust vaccination schedule with a coverage rate of 95 per cent for most vaccines. Despite this achievement, Nurse Graham said: “There are still some children who do not complete their vaccine schedule thus leaving themselves and other vulnerable groups at risk. We are encouraging parents to make and keep appointments with healthcare providers to ensure their child is up-to-date on all shots.”

To this end, a special clinic will be held on Saturday, 29 April at the Public Health Department for all children needing vaccinations, including those with missed or outstanding doses. Parents will be contacted to schedule the appointments. All adults needing tetanus boosters, or healthcare workers requiring vaccines, should also attend.

Emphasising the importance of children being vaccinated, Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez said: “The Cayman Islands offers a rigorous vaccination programme. Our schedule includes procurement of vaccines approved by PAHO. All vaccines used in the Cayman Islands are safe and are administered in accordance with guidelines from the World Health Organization and PAHO.”

The current childhood immunisation schedule recommends that, by the age of 15 months, infants should have received the following vaccines, which offer protection against 15 diseases:


  • Three doses of hepatitis B; (at birth, six weeks and nine months).
  • One dose of BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin – tuberculosis vaccine); (at six weeks).
  • Three doses of rotavirus; (six weeks, four months and six months)
  • Three doses of the combined DT&P (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough), IPV (inactivated polio vaccine) and Hib (haemophilus influenza type b) at two, four and six months).
  • Three doses pneumococcal vaccine (Prevnar) at two, four and six months
  • One dose of varicella (chickenpox) and a booster of pneumococcal (at 12 months).
  • One dose of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella); and a booster dose of combined DT&P and Hib (at 15 months).
  • A second dose of MMR is administered at age 18 months.
  • Children also need booster doses of combined DT&P and IPV and a second dose of Varicella (chicken pox) at school entry (four to five years). For children six months and older and all adults, an annual influenza vaccine is recommended. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is offered to girls in Year 7 in the public schools with parental consent. Girls older than 12 years old are also offered this vaccine with parental consent if they did not get the vaccine in Year 7. In addition to childhood immunisation, vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases for adults are also available including boosters for tetanus and diphtheria, Zoster vaccines against shingles, as well as the annual influenza vaccine.

For information, regarding immunisations, contact a private paediatrician, or the following district health centres:


Public Health Department: 244-2648

West Bay Health Centre: 949-3439

Bodden Town Health Centre: 947-2299

East End Health Centre: 947-7440

North Side Health Centre: 947-9525

Faith Hospital, Cayman Brac:            948-2243

Little Cayman Clinic:948-0072



  1. Special immunisation clinic

Public Health Department on Saturday, 20 April from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  1. Childhood immunisation schedule

See above.

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