Ontario's Medical Officers of Health Strongly Support Ontario's HPV Vaccine Program



    TORONTO, Sept. 14 /CNW/ - The Council of Ontario Medical Officers of
Health, a Section of the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa),
remains strongly supportive of Ontario's publicly-funded program to immunize
Grade 8 girls against the human papillomavirus (HPV).
    "Five years of research and extensive clinical trials have demonstrated
that this vaccine is safe and effective against a group of viruses that are
responsible for 70% of cervical cancer cases and 90% of genital warts" said
COMOH Chair Dr. Charles Gardner. "As medical experts, we wish to make it very
clear to Ontario's young women and their parents that this program is good for
women's health, will reduce suffering and save lives. We strongly urge them to
take advantage of this opportunity".
    Some recent reports in various media have presented arguments against the
implementation of this program, which are based on biased and inaccurate
information, and ignore the evidence from extensive and careful research.
Ontario's Medical Officers of Health are concerned that this misinformation
will needlessly damage public confidence in a very important vaccine program.
    "This vaccine has been used in millions of women already, and careful
monitoring has not found any significant safety concerns" said Dr. Gardner.
"The evidence from clinical trials of the HPV vaccine tells us that serious
side-effects are extremely rare. The fact is that the HPV vaccine is safe and
its use, along with regular Pap tests, will greatly reduce illness and deaths
caused by cervical cancer."
    The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), which makes
detailed recommendations about vaccines approved for use in Canada,
recommended vaccination of females between the ages of 9-26 in February of
2007. In March, the federal government announced $300M in support to the
provinces and territories to implement vaccination programs. Nova Scotia,
Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland have already launched their
programs, with British Columbia and Quebec expected to follow in 2008.
    "The Association of Local Public Health Agencies advocated to the
province to have this vaccination program initiated. We are very pleased that
our governments are acting so quickly on this, despite significant short-term
costs associated with public vaccine funding" added alPHa Executive Director
Linda Stewart. "This is a strong signal of a greater understanding that
preventing diseases is always preferable to treating them."

    As the provincial organization representing public heath, alPHa provides
leadership and expertise on public health management issues. Its members
include medical officers of health, board of health members and senior
managers in public health disciplines including inspection, epidemiology,
nursing, dentistry, nutrition, health promotion and business administration.


    
                                BACKGROUNDERS

               alPHa Resolutions - Vaccine Preventable Diseases

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                           alPHa RESOLUTION A07-7

    TITLE:     Request for Public Funding for Human Papillomavirus Vaccine

    SPONSOR:   Board of Health, Simcoe Muskoka District Health
    

    WHEREAS the Government of Ontario has publicly funded vaccines against
diphtheria, H. influenza b, measles, mumps, pertussis, polio, rubella,
hepatitis B, varicella, pneumococcal disease, meningococcal C, and tetanus;
and

    WHEREAS Health Canada has approved the use of a HPV vaccine for females
between the ages of nine and 26; and

    WHEREAS the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has
recommended the HPV vaccine for females aged nine to 26 years; and

    WHEREAS human papillomavirus (HPV) has been directly linked to cervical
cancer, the third most common cancer in Canadian women aged 20-49;

    NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Association of Local Public Health
Agencies (alPHa) requests the Government of Ontario to include HPV vaccine as
a publicly funded immunization for females between the ages of nine and 26
years.

    
    MOTION:       C. GARDNER (Simcoe Muskoka)
    SECOND:       C. LEE (Simcoe Muskoka)

    Resolution: CARRIED, JUNE 12 2007
    ---------------------------------


                       2001 alPHa RESOLUTION NO. A01-3

    TITLE:     Vaccine Availability

    SPONSOR:   Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit Board of
               Health
    

    WHEREAS safe and effective vaccines are cost beneficial when used in
appropriate populations; and

    WHEREAS vaccines licensed for use in Canada have been determined to be
safe and effective by Health Canada; and

    WHEREAS the National Advisory Committee on Immunization makes
recommendations as to the appropriate populations requiring immunization and
for whom immunizations would be worthwhile; and

    WHEREAS the goal of the Infectious Disease Program of the Mandatory
Programs Standards is that infectious diseases will be reduced or eliminated;
and

    WHEREAS use of vaccines has repeatedly demonstrated a reduction or
elimination of infectious disease; and

    WHEREAS any Canadian citizen or landed immigrant who develops a vaccine
preventable disease, regardless of the point of origin of the infection, is
eligible for all treatment at public expense;

    NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Association of Local Public Health
Agencies (alPHa) petition the Provincial Government to:

    
    1)  fund all vaccines licensed in Canada within 12 months of such
        licensure and

    2)  make all vaccines licensed in Canada available through Boards of
        Health for administration to the categories of individuals as
        recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
    

    Status of Resolution: Endorsed by the alPHa membership June 12, 2001




For further information:

For further information: regarding this news release, please contact
Linda Stewart, Executive Director at (416) 595-0006 ext. 22 or by e-mail at
linda@alphaweb.org

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