TORONTO, April 27, 2016 /CNW/ - On the occasion of National Immunization Awareness Week (April 24 to 30, 2016), which coincides with both World Immunization Week (a declaration by the World Health Organization) as well as Vaccination Week in the Americas (a declaration by the Pan American Health Organization), Innovative Medicines Canada is reminding Canadians that they can be champions in the fight against diseases by getting vaccinated. Organizations from around the world this week are working to increase awareness about the importance of immunization for all ages.
"It's our responsibility, as part of our Canadian community, to get the facts about vaccines," said Russell Williams, President, Innovative Medicines Canada. "According to the World Health Organization, 2 to 3 million deaths are averted worldwide each year thanks to vaccines, but an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided. Our industry is focused on closing that immunization gap, and we commend the work of governments across Canada as they work towards this goal."
In Ontario, for example, the provincial government has put in place a 5-year strategic plan – Immunization 2020 – to modernize Ontario's publicly-funded immunization program. Building off the Immunization 2020 plan and leading up to NIAW, Ontario will now be the sixth province to expand its publicly funded immunization program to include boys alongside girls in order to help protect more youth from Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection and related cancers. The province has also committed to enhancing public access to immunization by expanding pharmacists' scope to administer additional vaccines, beyond the flu shot.
Today, more than 25 infectious diseases are vaccine-preventable – not only in children, but also in adolescents, adults and travelers. Recognized as one of the greatest achievements in public health, immunization is key to protecting Canadians and has saved more lives in Canada than any other health initiative in 50 years.
However, the benefits of these innovations are limited by the degree to which the population actually gets immunized.
ABOUT INNOVATIVE MEDICINES CANADA
Innovative Medicines Canada is the national voice of Canada's innovative pharmaceutical industry. We advocate for policies that enable the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines and vaccines that improve the lives of all Canadians. We support our members' commitment to being valued partners in the Canadian healthcare system.
SOURCE Innovative Medicines Canada
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