By: Daniel, Trenton
Haiti, the United States, and several international organizations have collaborated to launch a nationwide vaccination campaign to protect Haitians from diphtheria, tetanus, measles, polio, cholera, and whooping cough. Immunization rates in the country remain low. A cholera epidemic that surfaced after the 2010 earthquake has taken the lives of more than 7,000 people and sickened another 530,000. The vaccination campaign, which launched on April 16, aims to vaccinate 90 percent of Haiti’s youth. Vaccinations will be staggered, with vaccinations for measles, rubella, and polio to begin on April 21. Another vaccine used is a pentavalent one, used to prevent diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae type b. The campaign is partly supported by the GAVI Alliance, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.