Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

December 05, 2010 13:30 ET

Health Minister Opens 9th Canadian Immunization Conference

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Dec. 5, 2010) - One year after the largest and most successful vaccination campaign in Canadian history, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq today urged the country's immunization community to continue to strive for better when she addressed over 1,100 delegates at the 9th Canadian Immunization Conference in Quebec City.

"I was proud to see a record number of Canadians roll up their sleeves for the H1N1 flu vaccine," said Minister Aglukkaq. "We now need to build on that momentum, remain vigilant and remind Canadians that immunization for the flu and for all vaccine-preventable diseases saves lives."

Despite the availability of vaccines, outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases still occur. Recent outbreaks of measles in Vancouver and of pertussis (whooping cough) in California are reminders that a lack of immunization remains a challenge.

"Immunization is the most effective way to prevent and control vaccine-preventable diseases," said Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer. "The Government of Canada is proud to support this Conference because it is an excellent opportunity to share knowledge and find ways to further improve immunization in Canada."

This year's conference entitled Immunization: A Global Challenge for the 21st Century, will bring together Canada's leaders in immunization, including researchers, policy makers, medical experts and front-line workers to share expertise and experience with colleagues and Canadians.

The program offers sessions that cover the continuum of immunization, from new developments in vaccine science to the implementation and evaluation of immunization programs to global perspective on immunization efforts.

The Conference is hosted by the Public Health Agency of Canada in collaboration with the Canadian Association of Immunization Research and Evaluation (CAIRE), the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) and the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA).

"We all want healthy children to live in a healthy world. Immunization programs have lead to some of the most dramatic changes in child health. Smallpox has been eliminated and both measles and polio have almost disappeared. But there are constantly changes in microbial organisms and new illness which means that immunizations will constantly need to be researched and studied and changed, leading to new, safe and effective vaccines," said Bob Hilliard, CPS President.

"The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) is pleased to be a collaborator on the 9th Canadian Immunization Conference. Advances in vaccinology science, our changing demographics and increasing competition for finite health resources are all challenges that we face in Canada and around the world. This bi-annual meeting is a valuable opportunity for immunization experts to meet, share accomplishments, identify new goals and plan for the future," said Debra Lynkowski, CEO, Canadian Public Health Association.

"This conference provides an important showcase for Canadian vaccine research," said Ms. Gordean Bjornson, Administrative Director of CAIRE. "It is vital that immunization programs and practice be built on a sound foundation of scientific research and evaluation."

The Canadian Immunization Conference is being held from December 5-8 at the Quebec City Convention Centre. The conference is open to members of the media. For more information, including a conference program, please visit:

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    Media Relations