April 24, 2013
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, immunization has saved more lives in Canada in the last 50 years than any other health intervention. Through publicly funded programs, many Canadian children no longer suffer from serious, vaccine-preventable diseases such as meningitis, measles, and polio, among others.
In 2013, April 20 to 27 is National Immunization Awareness Week and Nova Scotia doctors are shining a light on the importance of being immunized against communicable diseases.
Immunization protects you from an infection without causing the suffering of the disease itself.
Immune systems have to learn how to recognize and fight diseases. Immunization helps to boost the body’s own immune defence system, creating extra immunity and protection to fight off vaccine-preventable diseases and stay healthy.
A vaccine is the medicine in the needle when you get immunized. It is made of killed or weakened germs that help your immune system learn how to protect itself. Vaccines are effective in protecting people from getting very sick from diseases that cause severe illness, disability or even death.
Immunizations work best when they’re given at the right times. Physicians in the province encourage Nova Scotians to understand the importance of ensuring that their children receive all the recommended immunizations beginning in infancy, throughout childhood and into adulthood.
It’s also important for adults to stay on top of their own immunizations. Under-immunized adults are at risk of becoming carriers of diseases and endanger infants and elderly. Protect them.
National Immunization Awareness Week reminds us all of the importance of immunization in protecting the health of our loved ones, children, and communities.
Vaccines used in Canada are safe. They are developed in accordance with the highest standards and are continually monitored for safety and effectiveness. Doctors Nova Scotia encourages all Nova Scotians to talk to their doctor about their immunization schedule. For more information, visit www.publichealth.gc.ca.
Mike Fleming, BSc, MD, CCFP, FCFP
Doctors Nova Scotia