Immunization

Children’s Healthcare Canada is committed to the promotion of approved safe and effective immunizations and is working to support healthcare providers with current research, knowledge and tools to have conversations with families and confidently immunize children and youth.

Vaccines and routine immunizations have proven to be one of the most effective preventative tools in the fight against infectious diseases and is a global health success story.  It is one of the best investments in health money can buy, reducing mortality and morbidity, health care expenditures and social costs.  Vaccines prevent more than twenty life-threatening diseases, translating to 3.5-5 million deaths prevented every year from diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza and measles.
As a key component of primary health and a human right, it is troubling to witness the drop the in routine immunizations here in Canada over the course of the pandemic and the increase in vaccine hesitancy across the country and the globe. According to recent reports from Toronto Public Health only 55 % of 12-year-old students are up to date on their routine immunizations. “If any infectious disease comes into the school setting, it can spread quite quickly.” (Vinita Dubey, Associate Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Public Health)  
Some of the identified issues are:
  1. Access - Many busy families intend to get their children immunized but do not find the time to go to public health clinics or their family doctor. School based immunizations have been disrupted through the pandemic.
  2. Tracking and Reporting - It is a challenge to track and report on routine immunization rates that would allow health authorities to find who is behind on their vaccines as provincial vaccine registries are lacking.
  3. Vaccine Hesitancy - There are many factors leading to hesitancy, including dis- and mis-information, needle fear, education level, mistrust of government. 
With the evolving issues of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent approvals for vaccinations for most children in Canada, there is increased need for understanding and communication around this and all immunizations. 
 
There is therefore a discreet window of opportunity Children’s Healthcare Canada, working in partnership with others, to support an evidence-based information and awareness-building campaign to ensure the maximum number of children eligible for the COVID vaccine will be immunized.

Recent Events:

ICC: From Practice to Policy - Keeping What Worked: Lessons learned from COVID-19 pediatric immunizations (September 2022)

Immunizing Children with Confidence: Vaccination Conversations Pop Up Event (January 2022)