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For more than 200 years, vaccines have been saving lives around the world. When children get vaccinated against a disease, they build up their immunity, making them stronger and more resistant to that disease. Getting vaccinated helps their body make antibodies that fight specific diseases, giving their immune system a boost.
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Conflict attacks the systems that support the routines of daily life. The result is that, during conflict, millions of children miss out on the basic vaccines they need to stay healthy and have a fair chance in life. Most often the children affected are the most vulnerable to disease.
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You know the time of year. The leaves are falling and all of the sudden Halloween is around the corner. The change of season brings other things, too. For one, flu activity starts to increase over the fall before peaking in the winter months.
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The rate of vaccine acquisition has remained relatively stable over the years suggesting the majority of Canadians are not raising their sleeves. While there is little doubt the vaccine is an excellent means to prevent infection, this message appears to be diluted by a number of other factors. For those responsible for ensuring the safety of Canadians the low turnout requires a more in-depth analysis to find a solution.
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Only two provinces require vaccines for school entry.
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And more doctors are dropping them as patients.
Last week they published an examination of vaccine hesitancy in Canada. Based on their results, the reasons behind the concern over vaccine may be far more troublesome than anyone believed.
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We know how to protect against measles and we have the tools to do it. In fact, at less than $2 each in low-income countries, the measles vaccine is one of the cheapest to deliver. Investments in the measles vaccine are considered one of the best buys in global health. Yet we are still coming up short and failing the world's most vulnerable children.
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Over the past 15 years, Tanzania has made a concerted effort to immunize its children -- and has achieved a remarkable vaccination rate of almost 90 per cent. That's not good enough for the government and health organizations, though. They want to get as close to 100 per cent as possible. But figuring out which children have been missed is a huge challenge in a country where many families still live nomadic lives in remote areas. Enter Seattle health organization PATH and Canada's own Mohawk College, in Hamilton, Ont. They're helping out, not with more vaccines or nurses, but a database.
We live in a province with a publicly funded vaccination program, however, the threat posed by vaccine preventable diseases is still with us, as we have seen in recent outbreaks of measles, mumps and pertussis (whooping cough). That's why getting vaccinated is important.
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The parents lost their one-month-old son to the disease in March 2015.
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The tell-tale signs are all around us: coughing friends, sniffling family members and colleagues taking sick days. Yes, flu season has returned once again. The flu vaccine is also back and it still remains our best defense against the flu and all Canadians should make flu immunization a priority.
With winter cold and flu season upon us, it is a good time to nail down immune-boosting habits to ward off the ills of winter time germs. Emerging research now suggests that diet, exercise, age, psychological stress and herbal supplements may have an impact on the immune systems ability to fight off assaults from invading microorganisms.
In February 2015, a poll by the Angus Reid Institute revealed that two-thirds of Canadians believe that children should not be allowed to attend school or daycare if their immunizations are not fully up to date. Interestingly, the country is divided.