Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

June 26, 2009 10:32 ET

Government of Canada Launches Child Immunization Campaign

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 26, 2009) - The Government of Canada today launched a three-year public education campaign to encourage parents to have their children immunized against certain diseases before the age of two. The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, made the announcement at the annual meeting of the Canadian Paediatric Society.

"Immunization is one of the best tools we have to protect the health of our children," said Minister Aglukkaq. "Many vaccine-preventable diseases that can be fatal can be easily avoided with on-time immunization."

Even though exhaustive scientific evidence shows that immunizations are among the safest and most cost-effective public health measures, achieving and maintaining high levels of immunization coverage remains a challenge. Past experience has shown that when immunization rates fall, the rates of disease can increase dramatically.

The centrepiece of the campaign is A Parent's Guide to Immunization, a booklet that offers clear, easy-to-understand information for parents of children up to two years of age. It addresses vaccine safety, the importance of on-time immunization and provides parents with information on what to expect when their child gets immunized. It also includes information on 13 vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), influenza, diphtheria and tetanus.

"This campaign offers parents easy-to-understand information about immunization to help them make informed decisions about their children's health," said Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer.

The campaign also features a website (www.publichealth.gc.ca/immunization) where parents can obtain copies of provincial and territorial immunization schedules to help them keep track of their children's vaccinations. The website includes FAQs on vaccine-preventable diseases, and a downloadable copy of A Parent's Guide to Immunization. Hard copies of the Guide are available by calling 1 800 O-Canada.

"Immunization is still the surest way to protect children from serious illness," said Dr. Joanne Embree, President of the Canadian Paediatric Society. "Paediatricians welcome resources that help remind parents to have their children immunized with all the recommended vaccines on time."

The campaign includes information for health care professionals, since research shows they have significant influence over whether parents immunize their children.

"It's important that parents get their children immunized," said Minister Aglukkaq. "As the mother of an infant, I am proud of this campaign that encourages parents to immunize their children early against preventable diseases."

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Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Health
    Josee Bellemare
    613-957-0200
    or
    Public Health Agency of Canada
    Media Relations
    613-941-8189