Statement Article from  Public Health Agency of Canada

Archived - National Immunization Awareness Week – April 26 to May 3, 2014

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April 28, 2014

National Immunization Awareness Week takes place from April 26th to May 3rd, and this year’s theme is “Vaccination: Your best shot”.

Immunization saves lives. The World Health Organization estimates that over 2.5 million deaths worldwide are averted every year through immunization. In Canada immunization has saved more lives than any other health intervention over the last 50 years.

Before vaccines became available, many Canadian children died from diseases such as measles, diphtheria and polio, which are now preventable by immunization. It is important that Canadians stay protected as outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases can, and do, occur in Canada – as evidenced by recent outbreaks of measles. Those who are unimmunized add to the risk for those who cannot receive vaccinations or for whom the vaccine did not provide full protection from disease.

Vaccines are among the safest tools of modern medicine. Canada has a rigorous scientific review system in place to ensure vaccines are safe and effective in preventing the diseases they target. Once a vaccine is in use, health authorities continue to monitor its safety. The dangers of vaccine-preventable diseases are much greater than the risk of a serious reaction from a vaccine.

This awareness week, I encourage you to make sure your and your family’s immunizations are up-to-date. Last month I was proud to launch ImmunizeCA, an innovative mobile vaccine application (app). You can download this free mobile app to review your own, and your family’s, immunization status. ImmunizeCA was developed collaboratively, with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada, by the Canadian Public Health Association, Immunize Canada and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

Parents of young children can also benefit from A Parent’s Guide to Immunization, the Agency's most requested publication. First Nations on-reserve and Inuit parents, caregivers, and expectant parents may wish to refer to Health Canada's A Guide to Immunization for First Nations Parents and Caregivers or A Guide to Immunization for Inuit Parents and Caregivers for information for children at birth to the age of two years.

Immunization is a public health success story. Learn more at the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Immunization Awareness Week website.

The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

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