Championing immunization is everyone's business

CALGARY, 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."

The Prairies have played a significant role in vaccine and infectious disease research. The VIDO-InterVac research centre in Saskatchewan and the International Centre for Infectious Diseases in Manitoba are world class facilities with expertise in traditional and emerging diseases like Ebola and Zika virus. As well, the University of Alberta has played a significant role in HIV and Hepatitis management.

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.


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

For further information: Sarah Douglas, Media Relations, Telephone: 613-883-7250, E-mail:


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