World Immunization Week 24th - 30th April 2014

In commemoration of World Immunization week, the Ministry of Health invited me to give a talk to community health nurses about immunizations. 

I spent several hours preparing a PowerPoint document on this topic.  It is amazing how much time it takes to prepare one slide, because it is challenging to be brief, but accurate and to convey the message effectively. 

I think it is so important to be an active participant in community events and to share knowledge and I never fail to update myself and even learn new things whenever I prepare a health presentation. 

My presentation took place on Wednesday 30th April at the Ministry of Education conference room.  There were about 30 nurses in attendance.  They seemed to be quite interested, especially since giving immunizations will be one of their duties at the various health centers.

I always enjoy the questions and answer sessions that take place after the presentation, because it demonstrates to me that the participants were listening and thinking.

One nurse asked me why it was important NOT to give fever medication to a child before or soon after they received their vaccine.  I explained that fever medications are anti-inflammatories, they work by inhibiting  the natural response the body mounts to 'foreign matter". The whole purpose of vaccination is to inject a purified protein into the body so that the immune system can recognize it as foreign and create antibodies against it, thus becoming immune to that protein.

By administering fever medication before or too soon after immunization,  the natural response to the protein is blunted, and thus the immune reaction may not be as strong.

In Health & Wellness,

Dr. Kecia Lowe