Partnerships to help increase demand for and enhance access to vaccination
TORONTO, April 23, 2018 /CNW/ - Vaccines are one of the safest and most effective tools we have to protect ourselves, our families and our communities from infectious diseases. However, not enough Canadians are being vaccinated. As a result, Canadians still experience illnesses from vaccine-preventable diseases that can cause serious complications and can even lead to death.
Today, during National Immunization Awareness Week, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, announced close to $3.4 million in funding to increase vaccination rates in Canada. The Minister made the announcement at a visit to UNICEF Canada where the Kids Boost Immunity school vaccination program was demonstrated by the Public Health Association of British Columbia.
This investment will support the development of five multi-year projects being led by the Public Health Association of British Columbia, the Canadian Public Health Association, the Canadian Paediatric Society, the Ministry of Health of British Columbia, and the CIUSSS de l'Estrie (Quebec).
Minister Petitpas Taylor also launched a national awareness campaign on childhood vaccination, which will provide parents with evidence-based information to make informed decisions about vaccination to help keep their children healthy.
"Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases. When more people are vaccinated, the risk of infection is lower for all Canadians. Our government is committed to working closely with provinces, territories and public health partners to improve vaccination access and uptake in Canada."
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
"While Canada has generally high overall vaccination rates, we are still not achieving our national vaccination coverage goals. I want to remind Canadians that vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect ourselves and our families. And by getting vaccinated, we are also protecting others in the community, particularly vulnerable infants, immunocompromised and elderly Canadians. I urge all Canadians to talk to their healthcare providers to ensure that their vaccines are up to date."
Dr. Theresa Tam
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada
"Kids Boost Immunity (KBI) provides a wonderful example to children that for immunization to work anywhere, it has to be present everywhere. Diseases don't respect boundaries, so KBI is tackling this unique public health challenge head on by rewarding individual knowledge with a practical outcome that can lead to healthier lives for children around the world: vaccines for UNICEF. The simple idea of 'kids helping kids' has universal appeal because it empowers students to act local and global at the same time."
Executive Director, Public Health Association of British Columbia
"Across Canada, iBoosters have been an invaluable support to UNICEF. With every quiz they complete, they are literally saving a life by donating a vaccine to a child in need. This new partnership with the Government of Canada will not only help save more lives, but encourage even more Canadians to get involved and make a difference. Kids helping other kids is what Canada – and Kids Boost Immunity – is all about."
UNICEF Canada President and CEO
- The Government of Canada invests $18 million annually on immunization initiatives. Budget 2016 provided an additional $25 million over five years to improve vaccination coverage rates in Canada.
- The Government of Canada and the governments of the provinces and territories have endorsed vaccination coverage goals to be achieved by 2025 for publicly funded infant, childhood, adolescent and adult vaccines. These goals include:
- 95% vaccination coverage for infants by age two and children by age seven;
- 90% vaccination coverage for adolescents by age 17; and
- 80% vaccination coverage for adults 65 years of age and older for the pneumococcal vaccine.
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
For further information: Thierry Bélair, Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Health Canada, 613-957-2983, [email protected]; Public Inquiries: 613-957-2991, 1-866-225-0709