“Action Plan” To Address Vaccination Hesitancy

June 12, 2019

The Department of Health will engage in an “action plan to address underlying barriers that contribute to low rates of vaccination,” Minister of Health Kim Wilson said, with the Minister asking “all Bermuda residents to join us in our effort to protect our community from vaccine preventable diseases.”

Minister Wilson said. “In April I announced during Vaccine Week in the Americas that The Ministry of Health had outlined plans to address the low vaccination coverage for children at six months of age. Today I am pleased to share the results of our initial investigation of the state of Vaccine Hesitancy [VH], which is defined as the delay or refusal of vaccinations.

“Bermuda, like many countries worldwide, is experiencing a growing public health concern regarding low vaccination coverage which increases our vulnerability to re-emerging vaccine preventable diseases, such as measles.

“In addition, Bermuda is a major travel destination, and is at increased risk for importation of many of the vaccine preventable diseases such as diphtheria and pertussis [whooping cough].

Minister Wilson with members of the Vaccine Hesitancy Working Group [l to r]: Yosefyah Williams, Minister Kim Wilson, Dr. Kristen Woodward, Lynn Jackson and David Kendell

Bermuda’s Strategy on Vaccination Hesitancy June 2019

“This is very concerning for Bermuda and poses significant implications and risk from vaccine preventable diseases.

“Research of possible approaches to address vaccine hesitancy led to the World Health Organization European Regional Offices’ ‘Tailoring Immunization Programmes’ [TIP] guide. This is an effective tailored, evidence-based, people-centered approach and the best way forward for Bermuda. The aim of the strategy is to increase Bermuda’s vaccination coverage by 10%, by the year 2021.

“Preliminary ground work in Bermuda has been done by a working group including school executive PTAs, health officials and physicians to investigate and identify local concerns. The group helped to identify five major stumbling blocks that lead to refusal or reluctance to be vaccinated: trust, education, service delivery, effectiveness of vaccines and legislation/policy.

“Further, it was determined that the four major target groups to whom access to Bermuda’s immunization programme is crucial are parents and infants, adults, seniors, travelers, and healthcare professionals.

“The Department of Health will now be engaged in an action plan to address underlying barriers that contribute to low rates of vaccination.

“The Department of Health will:

  • Implement a client exit survey initiative to understand the delivery of vaccination services
  • Develop a phone application to provide the public with reliable information on vaccines, clinic services, child growth, and real-time news updates where needed.
  • Organize the annual flu drive for staff in the fall. The Department will organize “Take the Lead” which was piloted last year in November 2018.
  • Create opportunities for platforms for the public to express concerns about vaccination, including public forums similar to the forum held last month with a representative from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

“To accomplish this we need the help of all Bermuda residents to join us in our effort to protect our community from vaccine preventable diseases. We are asking residents to ensure:

  • With the help of parents, children are vaccinated according to the recommended schedule to increase rates of MMR vaccination
  • Travelers have the appropriate vaccinations before travel and be alert of their health when returning home
  • Seniors obtain the vaccinations they need to live well
  • Healthcare professionals take the lead in being vaccinated
  • Persons in occupations at higher risk of exposure to vaccine preventable diseases are aware of their vaccination status.

“The highest quality research has proven that vaccines are safe and effective. The evidence available makes it clear that the complications from these diseases can be life threatening.

“We look forward to the public feedback and input as we continue to collaborate and make Bermuda healthier.”

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Comments (17)

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  1. sandgrownan says:

    Make vaccinations mandatory, and charge anyone who refuses with attempted manslaughter.

    • PBanks says:

      Would that stand up in court though?

      • sandgrownan says:

        Either that or a punch in the mouth for a) being stupid and for
        b) putting my family at risk.

    • Come on man!! says:

      What an idiotic statement.

  2. sage says:

    Remember in Tuskeegee and Guatemala, the deliberate spread of syphillis by “health care workers”, the eugenics and radiation ‘experiments’ among many many other atrocities? Oh and stabbing a man 13 times in the commission of a robbery isn’t even manslaughter here, just simply “wounding”.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Just read recently that the entire Tuskeegee thing was debunked a long time ago but people still cling to it as really having happened.
      But for the last sentence , had the victim not made it to KEMH when he did and had the surgeons that he did it would have been a case of manslaughter/murder.

      • Tuskeegee happened says:

        Actually, you are incorrect Toodle-OO, the Tuskeegee experiment did happen. I just wrote a paper on this, and scholars use this experiment as a reminder for why African Americans may not trust white institutions. Do a literary review on the topic, and you should find some facts, it cannot be denied. However, I do support kids getting vaccinated.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          It all comes down to what one believes that they read on the internet nowadays. And that includes anything that you or anyone else writes.

      • sage says:

        Tuskeegee was debunked? Please enlighten us. I guess they didn’t purposely infect Guatemalan people, lie about it then sit back and watch the results , which still linger to today, either. Is there not a charge known as ‘attempted murder’ that would be called for when you stab a person 13 times, and why would the judge say the sentences, totaling 17 yrs, “must run concurrently” rather than consecutively? He will serve a third, so 3 years. Also no charge for refusing to identify his partner? That alone should double his sentence.

      • Question says:

        So as a matter of law, what kind of circumstances would qualify as Attempted Murder, if not stabbing someone 13 times in committing a robbery, leaving them at serious risk of death?

  3. just wondering says:

    Without getting drawn into whether they should be mandatory or not ( I think they should be mandatory but in any event) why not simply have nurses attend schools and provide vaccinations free – this will be a lot cheaper than the cost of a measles etc outbreak. Parents sign a permission slip for there kids to have the vaccination(s). Surely this would at least help with reducing the spread of measles?

    • Mj says:

      why are you frightened of a measles outbreak when the fluenza kills people yearly, and chicken pox leads to shingles after inlife also no cure for cancer but lots of money raised, smh we should not be wasting tax payer dollars to validate nurses who could be otherwise tending to the needs patients. There is no need for us to go on a vaccination campaign when there is no eminent threat, nor is it a fatal disease like cancer! People have died from the vaccinations and there is no urgency nor proof of necessity.
      All ye like sheep are led astray..

    • Overboard Hope says:

      Very good plan……

  4. Mj says:

    Measles is not a risk period! No one has it in Bermuda , and it is not an epidemic nor has it ever killed anyone. There is a need for the health industry to look into chicken pox because that can develope later into painful shingles. These people prolly have never had measles and are not therefore experts on anything but promoting vaccinations for their own economical benefit or satisfying someone else’s genes whilst making us guinea pigs. If one gets measles they will disappear after a while just like the cold so what is the urgency to push vaccinations when those that attended the meeting put forth reasonable argument against vaccinations from their personal experiences and there was no response from the so called experts. If there is concern for our people and children make sure they have low cost housing and food and higher wages so they can afford to live healthier., but innoculations is not healing the world. Never has and never will.

  5. Queenwarrior says:

    To the director of Health nursing in BDA is a very disrespected profession we have to go through a lot of process to get a licence Cpr. police vet. hours 12to 20 insurvice classes .doctors exam to see if were fit and more the licence only last for 2 years then you do the process again if you are not on the list at future care or fanancial assistance you have to look i am out there many are fining it hard to get work.

  6. Common Sense says:

    The immunisations are free of charge (from the clinic) The vast majority of those not immunized are so because the parents actually choose to not vaccinate their children because of misinformation about the dangers of the vaccines. People will often believe what they want to believe rather than look at the evidence

  7. Come on man!! says:

    Unless they are gonna test the person who is about to be vaccinated for a weakened or compromised immune system then they should not be forcing vaccinations on anyone. People with weak immune systems should not be vaccinated. There is a lot they either don’t know or are not telling the public.