The Director of the HIV/AIDS/STI Prevention and Control Unit, Mrs. Ferosa Roache, who has responsibility for immunization in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, has advised that there was never a situation in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the past six months, or in the past eighteen years for that matter, when there was no Tetanus Toxide vaccine in the country.
Additionally, there was never a situation in the same period when there were insufficient doses of the vaccine on hand to meet the needs of the population. This is contrary to the claim made by an opposition Parliamentarian during his contribution to the debate on the Estimates for 2019.
The Chief Medical Officer, as per the EPI Programme, said that the Tetanus Toxide vaccine is currently administered to all children when they enter primary school with a booster shot given prior to entering secondary school. “This schedule provides life time immunity. Therefore the majority of Vincentians are fully covered against tetanus infection.”
The implication is that it is not generally necessary for someone to receive a tetanus vaccine every time he or she gets a dog bite or a cut from a metallic object as these would already be immunised. However, where there is a risk of developing tetanus form such an exposure, tetanus immunoglobulin (which is in stock), can be administered.
The Chief Medical Officer concluded by saying that in 2018 all children requiring scheduled tetanus vaccines received them and everyone else qualified to receive the vaccine as per the World Health Organisation recommendations also got it.
The most recent shipment of Tetanus Toxide vaccine to the Ministry was received on 27th November, 2018, 3000 dose adult vaccine (300 x 10 dose vials). Batch #221501318A which expires in April 2021 – presently there is a stock level of 2000 doses which is sufficient to cover the target population.
SOURCE: Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment