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April 26 – May 3 is Immunization Awareness Week – Are you up to date?

April 17, 2014 – Public health offices in the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (RHA) have seen increased traffic over the last few weeks given the recent confirmation of four cases of measles in the province, a harsh reminder of the importance of being up to date with routine vaccinations. Interlake-Eastern RHA encourages all residents to get necessary vaccinations for themselves and their families in consultation with their family health care provider. Immunization is an effective public health intervention that helps to protect the health of residents in the region.

 

As more people are immunized the disease risk for everyone is reduced. Immunization is the single most cost-effective health investment, making it the cornerstone of protecting the health of the public. Vaccines help the immune system learn how to recognize and fight the germs that cause diseases, preventing more deaths than any other public health intervention.

 

Melody Hawryluk, immunization coordinator for Interlake-Eastern RHA, confirms vaccines in Canada are effective and much safer than the 15 diseases they prevent.

 

“Vaccines are known to be very safe and effective and help protect kids and adults against serious diseases. Not many Manitobans or Canadians get sick or die from vaccine-preventable diseases because of vaccines. Vaccines available free to Manitoba residents are included in the Province’s outline of routine immunizations recommended for infants, children and adults,” said Hawryluk.

 

Immunization is arguably one of the most important and effective innovations in public health history. One hundred years ago, infectious diseases were the leading cause of death worldwide. In Canada, they now cause less than five per cent of all deaths – thanks to immunization programs across the country.

If you are unsure if you or your family is up to date on immunizations, contact the public health office in your area. For a list of public health offices near you click here.
 

For more information about immunizations visit the Immunize Canada.



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