Vaccine Advocates Go On The Offensive

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It’s often called one of the most important advances in public health.¬†And this week, health officials will be reminding Canadians why immunization is so important.

Saturday marks the first day of National Immunization Awareness Week.

Marlene Price, manager of vaccine preventable disease at the Middlesex-London Health Unit, admits they are having to fight an information battle against the anti-vaccination movement.

“It’s important that people do realize the importance of vaccines, the importance of looking at scientific evidence behind vacicnes.” says Price. “Vaccines are safe. They’ve been researched. Every safety concern is taken into consideration in the production of vaccines.”

Price adds it’s important to remember that vaccinations help prevent the spread of infections to vulnerable members of the community, like babies who are too young to be immunized, people with weakened immune systems, and people who don’t get full protection from vaccines, such as the elderly.

According to the health unit, because of vaccines, infectious diseases that were once the leading cause of death worldwide now account for less than 5% of all deaths.

National Immunization Awareness Week runs until May 3.