National Immunization Awareness Week in Canada is April 21 to 28 and Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reminding residents to update their immunizations. Immunization is recognized as the most cost-effective way to decrease vaccine-preventable diseases in Canada.
OPH and the Canadian Immunization Guide recommend that immunization begins in infancy and continues through all stages of life. Whether you are a parent, a young adult or a senior, talk to your health care provider to find out which vaccines are recommended for you and your family. Although receiving immunizations during childhood is critical, some will not provide lifelong immunity and regular boosters may be required.
What’s new in immunization?
The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care has expanded its publicly funded vaccine program and now includes:
- Rotavirus oral vaccine for infants 6 to 24 weeks of age
- A second dose of Chickenpox vaccine for children 1 to 11 years of age and;
- Whooping Cough booster vaccine for adults 19 to 64 years of age
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is now recommending the Human papillomavirus (Gardasil®) (HPV) vaccine for boys and young men ages 9 to 26, and for girls and women ages 9 to 45.
While reporting your children’s immunizations to OPH is mandatory, reporting adult immunization is not. However, it is important for adults to keep a copy of their immunization records in a safe place or with their passport.
Protect yourself and the people around you – get immunized!
Publicly-funded vaccines are available from your family physician or from a walk-in clinic. For a walk-in clinic near you, contact OPH either by phone at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656) or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit ottawa.ca/health.