At the start of National Immunization Awareness Week (April 21 – 28), the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is encouraging the public to get vaccinated to protect their own and their family’s health.
Recent expansions to B.C.’s immunization program include the addition of oral rotavirus vaccine for infants, a second dose of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine to be given at Kindergarten, and routine hepatitis A vaccination for aboriginal children and youth.
A one-time human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine program extension to women born in 1991, 1992 and 1993 to protect them from cervical cancer was launched in April throughout the province. The vaccine is provided in a series of three doses over a six-month period and is available from pharmacists, physicians, sexual health and youth clinics, post secondary institution student health services and public health units.
The current B.C. immunization schedule is comprised of vaccines that protect against 16 infectious diseases: diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, Haemophilus influenza b, rotavirus, hepatitis A and B, human papillomavirus (HPV), meningococcal disease, pneumococcal disease, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox and influenza.
“Immunization saves lives and makes it possible for British Columbians to live free of the illness and disability associated with many communicable diseases,” said provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall. “I urge everyone — especially parents of infants and school-age children — to stay up-to-date on their immunizations so they can protect themselves and those around them.”
Share your story about the value of immunization at www.ihaveimmunity.com.
I Have Immunity is a province-wide storytelling campaign to raise awareness of the value of immunization through stories, resources and information.