CPhA Statement on Immunization and Public Awareness

OTTAWA, Feb. 19, 2015 /CNW/ - Canada's pharmacists firmly believe, and evidence-based science has proven, that immunization is the safest, most effective way to prevent, control and eliminate vaccine preventable diseases. The evidence is clear: vaccination saves lives.

Infectious diseases continue to pose a significant threat, not only to the health of individuals, but to the health of all Canadians. Those who are not vaccinated against common infectious diseases, such as measles, HPV, and meningitis, not only put their own health at risk, they also put the health of their family, friends, and community at risk.

Pharmacists, who are increasingly providing immunization services and advice, believe increased action is needed to further educate Canadians about the importance of immunization as well as to clarify potentially harmful misperceptions. Immunization through the use of vaccines is supported by decades of clinical evidence and experience; no such evidence exists for alternative treatments such as nosodes or "homeopathic vaccines." Providing clarity in this area is needed to enhance public confidence in immunization and is key to achieving optimal immunization rates.

To address this significant public health concern, the Canadian Pharmacists Association is today calling upon the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada to take leadership on this issue and immediately begin working with all levels of government and the health care provider community to develop a strategy to increase public awareness and education on immunization. Governments also need to work with providers to address policies and practices that can further improve levels of immunization in Canada.

We need not look too far in our past to understand the devastation that such diseases can pose to the health and lives of Canadians. While great strides have been made over the past half century, infectious diseases remain a serious public health concern.

 

SOURCE Canadian Pharmacists Association

For further information: Christine LeBlanc, Marketing & Communications Manager, 613-523-7877 ext. 278, 1-800-917-9489 ext. 278, cleblanc@pharmacists.ca

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