National Immunization Week was April 22-30


National Immunization Awareness Week took place from April 22 to 30. Immunization is of key interest to public health. The theme for this year was “Protect Your Future. Get immunized.” Prevention of illnesses is one of the public health mandates and immunization is a great way to be protected against illness and severe symptoms. Many of us don’t have knowledge of vaccine preventable diseases because high immunization rates have made these diseases rare, for example Measles, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Whooping Cough), Polio, Meningococcal Disease, Mumps and Rubella (German Measles). It is important to keep those vaccination rates high to keep those diseases from resurfacing. Good, credible information about vaccines can help you to make the right decision for you and your family:  .

Earlier this year, the health units started sending letters to parents of children whose school immunization records were not complete. The Health Unit assesses each child individually, based on the known vaccine records. Letters are only sent if your child’s immunization is incomplete. Many of these children already have their immunizations but parents just need to submit proof. From this first round of reminder letters, many records were received from parents whose children had been vaccinated. For those who did not get vaccinated, you can still book an appointment for your child at your local health unit location, or online. 

Vaccines aren’t just for kids… adults are important too. There are some vaccines that the ministry has given extended eligibility for adults: For example, anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles, but older adults and those who are immunocompromised are at greatest risk. Two-thirds of shingles cases in Canada happen to people over 50 years old. The severity of shingles and its complications also increase with age. To qualify for the free Shingrix® vaccine series, you must be a senior aged 65 to 70 years old and have not received any publicly funded shingles vaccine or have previously paid for a dose of the Zostavax® II vaccine. Since immunization services were affected as a result of the COVID‑19 pandemic, individuals born from 1949 to 1953 who missed the opportunity to receive the publicly funded shingles vaccine are eligible to receive Shingrix® and complete the 2-dose series by December 31, 2024. Adults are also recommended to get a tetanus vaccine every 10 years, and those who are 65 and over can get a vaccine to prevent certain pneumonias—these vaccines are also free.

For more information about immunization and vaccine preventable diseases, visit or



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