Government of Canada invests in new projects to improve vaccination rates in Canada

Working with partners to help increase demand for and enhance access to vaccination

OTTAWA, April 26, 2017 /CNW/ - Vaccination is one of the most important advances in public health and has, over the past 50 years, led to the elimination, containment and control of diseases that were once very common in Canada. Vaccinations protect families, communities and vulnerable Canadians. Despite vaccines being both safe and effective, not enough Canadians are getting vaccinated and Canada still experiences outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases that lead to serious illness and even death.

Today, during National Immunization Awareness Week, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced close to $1.7 million in Immunization Partnership Fund funding for three new projects that aim to increase vaccination coverage in Canada. The projects are being led by the Prince Edward Island Department of Health and Wellness, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living, and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.

Minister Philpott also announced $1.2 million in funding for six research projects aimed to improve Canada's ability to identify under- and un-immunized populations in Canada. The objective is to identify barriers to vaccination access and uptake, with particular emphasis on the vaccination coverage of women of reproductive age, First Nations, Inuit and Métis, as well as newcomers to Canada. The Improved Immunization Coverage Initiative is being led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, in partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada.

These Immunization Partnership Fund and Improved Immunization Coverage Initiative projects were funded as part of the Government of Canada's $25 million investment outlined in Budget 2016 to increase vaccination coverage across Canada.

Quick facts

  • In a recent survey, 95% of Canadian parents agreed that vaccines are safe and 97% agreed that vaccines are important for children's health. On the other hand, 70% of parents were concerned about potential side effects.
  • The Government of Canada invests $18 million annually on immunization initiatives such as surveillance, education and outreach, and guidance on the use of vaccines. Budget 2016 committed $25 million over five years to improving immunization coverage rates in Canada.
  • As part of this $25 million investment, last year the Government of Canada announced $3.5 million in funding to support CANImmunize, an innovative mobile application that helps parents store and manage their families' vaccination records, easily access provincial or territorial vaccination schedules, as well as find timely and accurate information on the benefits of vaccination.

Quotes

"Vaccinations save lives. Thanks to vaccines, serious and often devastating vaccine-preventable diseases are no longer the norm in Canada. Still, not enough Canadians are being vaccinated and the reasons why are complex. These projects will help us understand why people are not getting their vaccines and will create the tools to help increase coverage rates."  
Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health

Vaccinating our children is one of the best things we can do to help protect our families from serious diseases; however, immunization goes beyond childhood. At every age, vaccination provides the longest-lasting, most effective protection against disease. In Prince Edward Island we are dedicated to improving adult immunization rates and further protecting our residents.
Robert Henderson
Minister of Health and Wellness
Prince Edward Island

"In addition to keeping up-to-date with all their regular vaccinations, women of child-bearing age should be vaccinated against certain diseases such as rubella before they get pregnant. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada will be surveying health care providers and the public to better understand the information gaps in order to provide tools to get this message out."
Dr. Jennifer Blake
Chief Executive Officer, Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada

Related Products

Backgrounder: New Projects Funded under the Immunization Partnership Fund
Information on Improved Immunization Coverage Initiative Projects:

Vaccine coverage in Canadian children: Highlights from the 2013 Childhood National Immunization Coverage Survey (cNICS)
Vaccine uptake in Canadian adults: results from the 2014 adult National Immunization Coverage Survey

Associated Links

Adult and Child Immunization in PEI 
Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada 
Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living: Immunization 
Immunization and Vaccines

 

SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

For further information: Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, 613-957-2983; Media Relations, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 613-941-4563, mediarelations@cihr-irsc.gc.ca


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