Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shawn Charles says Grenada will experience a delay in receiving its shipment of mandatory childhood vaccines because of disruption in the supply chain that is linked directly to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He explained that many of the childhood vaccines are manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world.
“So, expect some delays due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19,” Dr. Charles said.
Grenada sources its vaccines for child immunization through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Revolving Fund which is the same mechanism used by most countries in the region. These include vaccination for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR); diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DPT); and polio.
Minister of Health Nickolas Steele said local stocks of childhood vaccines are close to expiration.
He, therefore, called on parents to make use of the vaccines before they expire.
In Grenada, it is mandatory for children to be immunized to be accepted into the school system.
The Public Health (School Children Immunization) Act states that “no child shall be admitted as a pupil to a pre-primary school, primary school, private school or all-age school unless he or she produces to the principal thereof, a certificate of immunization with respect to every communicable disease”.