Immunization Week

By Saskatchewan Prevention Institute
April 19, 2017 - 4:31pm

National Immunization Awareness Week April 22-29, 2017

Vaccinations have been saving lives for more than two centuries and are generally considered the most successful public health intervention ever devised. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that vaccines prevent more than two million deaths worldwide every year. Immunization prevents many communicable diseases.

There have been a number of recent measles outbreaks in Canada. Many of these outbreaks are linked to a decrease in the number of children receiving vaccinations. Measles is a highly contagious virus that is spread through the air. The measles virus is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people near that person, who are not immune, will also become infected. One in 10 people with measles develops pneumonia and/or ear infections. One in 10,000 people experiences an infection of the brain called encephalitis. One in 3,000 people who contracts measles will die.

Available information that is based in theory and not evidence has led to a significant amount of unwarranted worry about vaccine safety among parents. Theory-based information is not based on facts or credible research evidence. This type of information has led to myths surrounding the risk of immunizations. As a result, some parents are hesitant to immunize their children, or they may delay or refuse vaccinations for their children.

The Saskatchewan Prevention Institute encourages parents to use evidence-based information to learn about vaccine safety and effectiveness. Evidence-based information is supported by conclusive research data. Healthcare professionals make decisions and recommendations based on valid evidence-based information that has been repeatedly tested by researchers with expertise in the field. Evidence does not support any link between vaccines and diseases such as autism, multiple sclerosis, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Parents can receive evidence-based information from healthcare providers (i.e., family doctors and nurses) and reputable websites such as: * Public Health Agency of Canada: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/index-eng.php * Government of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/topics/immunization-vaccines.html * Caring for Kids: http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/vaccination_and_your_child

April 22-29 is National Immunization Week. Canadian children are immunized against 13 preventable diseases. These immunizations are safe and free of charge. They effectively protect children from common communicable diseases like tetanus, whooping cough, and measles. Before a child is 2 years old, he or she should have had 5 immunization appointments. To check Saskatchewan’s recommended immunization schedule, go to http://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/health/accessing-health-care-servic....

Before becoming pregnant, women should be up to date on all vaccinations. A mother’s immunity is passed to her baby during pregnancy to provide protection until the baby can be vaccinated according to the Saskatchewan vaccination schedule. Women should be aware of guidelines on vaccinations needed before, during, and after pregnancy. The best way to stay protected is to talk to your healthcare provider.

Please contact Krista Kaminski at 306-651-4317 for more information.

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