Minister of Health Launches National Immunization Awareness Week

Immunization is one of the safest, most effective public health measures we have to prevent serious illness.

SURREY, BC, April 24, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, and Dr. Gregory Taylor, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, launched National Immunization Awareness Week, which runs from April 25 to May 2. They encouraged Canadians to stay healthy by making sure their vaccinations are up to date.

During the launch event, Minister Ambrose urged Canadians to make sure they get the facts about immunization from credible sources like the Public Health Agency of Canada publication, A Parent's Guide to Vaccination. She also reminded Canadians that they can keep track of their vaccinations with the innovative mobile application (app), ImmunizeCA. The app provides local notifications and outbreak alerts and provides timely and accurate information on vaccination.

Dr. Taylor added that immunization is one of the safest, most effective public health measures we have for preventing many diseases. He also stressed the importance of visiting a healthcare provider or travel health clinic before travelling.

Quick Facts

  • Canada has very high vaccination coverage rates, but there are still pockets of unimmunized or under-immunized groups where vaccine-preventable diseases can be introduced and spread.
  • Immunization is one of the most important advances in public health. Common infectious diseases that were once a major cause of illness and death, particularly among children, have been significantly reduced through immunization.
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada funded ImmunizeCA, a free mobile application, developed collaboratively by the Canadian Public Health Association, Immunize Canada and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. It allows Canadians to easily keep track of their immunizations and to access other credible information about vaccinations.
  • A Parent's Guide to Vaccination has been updated with the latest information on the benefits of childhood immunization. It helps explain the importance of vaccines in plain and concise language.
  • Vaccination awareness materials including a downloadable poster, infographic and video are available online.
  • As part of the National Immunization Awareness Week activities, the Public Health Agency of Canada is doing a social media campaign to help raise awareness on the importance of immunization.

Quotes

"Immunization saves lives. Before the availability of vaccines in Canada, diseases such as measles, diphtheria and polio killed many children. Others were left with serious and debilitating conditions. Today, these illnesses are preventable by immunization. Protect yourself, your family, and your community by ensuring your vaccinations are up to date."
Rona Ambrose,
Minister of Health

"As Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, I urge all Canadians to ensure that they and their families are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases by being vaccinated. If we do not vaccinate ourselves and our families, we put ourselves and others at risk. Talk to your health care provider if you have any concerns."
Dr. Gregory Taylor
Chief Public health Officer

"Like whooping cough, mumps or measles, misinformation about vaccines can often spread like a virus in small groups. I Boost Immunity encourages the silent majority of Canadians who support vaccination to help spread the word that immunizing yourself or your children is a shared community value worth celebrating."
Michael Barnes
Board Member, I Boost Immunity and Executive Director, Public Health Association of BC.

Related Links:

Canadian Immunization Guide
ImmunizeCA
Immunization & Vaccines
A Parent's Guide to Vaccination

 

SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, (613) 957-2983

RELATED LINKS
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

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