Canada Vaccines

Dear Anti-Vaxxers: I Believe in Western Medicine Because it Saved My Life

Harriet Alida Lye | Posted 03.13.2015 | Canada Living
Harriet Alida Lye

As someone who has had both leukemia and measles as an indirect result of chemotherapy, I'm a firm believer in Western medicine (though I do enjoy organic kale juice from time to time). Watching the vaccination furor from afar, I've been thinking about the connection between this debate and the two First Nations girls from Ontario who opted to have "natural" therapies to treat their Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia instead of proven chemotherapies.

It's Been a Rough Year for the Flu Vaccine

Jason Tetro | Posted 03.08.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

Now that the flu season is coming to an end in Canada, many public health officials will be taking a look back to reflect on the year to see what went right and what went wrong. Upon closer inspection of the details, the problems deal more with unforeseen circumstances than error.

Delaying Childhood Vaccinations Can Be Just as Risky as Not Getting Them At All

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre | Posted 03.03.2015 | Canada Living
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

In Canada, health care is a provincial responsibility. So, the provincial ministries of health draw up the vaccination schedules. You'll find slight variations in the different schedules. Some provinces may adopt new vaccines sooner than others. Or, a vaccine may target a different strain of a particular bug, reflecting what's circulating locally.

How I Talk to My Patients About Vaccination

Brian W. Rotenberg | Posted 02.27.2015 | Canada Living
Brian W. Rotenberg

Every day when I see patients in my surgical clinic, some are offered a procedure to help them feel better. Whether it is a minor surgery like a tonsillectomy, or something larger scale such as tumor resection, I have a full discussion with the patient regarding the benefits and risks of doing "something." Each time I go over the common minor risks of an intervention and the exceedingly rare, but potentially very serious risks that can occur. I also review with them the risks of doing "nothing" - of what may happen if they don't have surgery. Vaccination is no different.

Our Last "Shot" at Solving the Anti-Vaccine Dilemma

Amitha Kalaichandran | Posted 02.26.2015 | Canada Living
Amitha Kalaichandran

A few months ago I described three major epidemics around child health in Canada today, when there are in fact four. I failed to mention the equally important epidemic of misinformation, which has been described well here and while this is certainly applicable to the issue of vaccine hesitancy, it doesn't describe the entire picture.

Majority Of Canadians Believe In Mandatory Vaccinations

The Canadian Press | Helen Branswell | Posted 02.13.2015 | Canada Living

A new national poll that mines attitudes toward vaccinations suggests support for these disease prevention tools remains relatively high in Canada. ...

End Vaccine Exemptions Now (Even In Your Precious Alternative School)

Joshua Ostroff | Posted 02.13.2015 | Canada Living
Joshua Ostroff

I got a measles vaccine booster shot this week because I needed to be sure I couldn't bring harm to my community. And I mean that literally, as measles has now arrived in my Toronto neighbourhood. The proximity of measles also prompted me to start poking around the Toronto Star's interactive map of Immunization Exemptions in Toronto's Schools and what I found sadly didn't surprise me -- alternative schools host scary percentages of unvaccinated kids. Unfortunately, anyone in Ontario can get a vaccine exemption.

Bugs, Drugs and the Leaky Pipeline

Alison Tedford | Posted 02.12.2015 | Canada
Alison Tedford

Photo Credit Michael Donoghue I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Jennifer Gardy. She is a Senior Scientist (Genomics & Molecular Epidemiology), ...

Why Measles May Be Back For Good

Jason Tetro | Posted 02.09.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

With each new outbreak, measles gains more ground for a permanent return. The virus becomes present year-round and causes seasonal infection like the cold and the flu. Every January to April dozens if not hundreds of people will become infected leaving public health officials with little option than to accept the future is a return to a dark past.

Queen's Faculty Of Medicine Stands Up For Vaccines Amid Teaching Controversy

The Huffington Post Canada | Jesse Ferreras | Posted 02.10.2015 | Canada Living

The dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Queen's University is standing up for vaccines amid a controversy that has seen a teaching adjunct in another d...

As Vaccine Prices Soar, Big Pharma Profits

Stephen Cornish | Posted 02.04.2015 | Canada Impact
Stephen Cornish

Last week in Berlin more than 15 countries pledged over US$7.5 billion to buy vaccines for the children of the world's poorest countries for the next five years. While this is great news for the millions of children living in the 73 countries supported by Gavi, there were other big winners: the pharmaceutical companies that benefit from the soaring vaccine prices they charge for vaccines worldwide.

Astonishing Number Of Kids In Fraser Health Region Aren't Vaccinated

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 01.30.2015 | Canada British Columbia

Fraser Health says more than 30 per cent of children in the Vancouver area have not been vaccinated by their second birthday.

Why Doctors Aren't Shocked That Mumps Have Hit the NHL

Lawrence Solomon | Posted 02.18.2015 | Canada Living
Lawrence Solomon

Past generations of professional hockey players were never at risk of mumps outbreaks. Today's players are, and tomorrow's will be, along with adults generally. These outbreaks -- which the media portray as coming out of the blue -- don't surprise anyone in medical circles who has been paying attention.

Don't Rush To Hand Out the Ebola Vaccine

Lawrence Solomon | Posted 12.21.2014 | Canada Politics
Lawrence Solomon

In 1934 and 1935, two polio vaccines were prematurely employed in large-scale trials with disastrous results. The vaccines, given to 17,000 children in Canada and the U.S., killed six and paralyzed a dozen others, the deaths and paralyses typically involving paralysis in the inoculated arm rather than in the legs, as was more normal. So traumatic was this experience -- to both the public and the research establishment -- that it would take another two decades before another polio vaccine would be brought to market.

Why You Need To Get a Flu Shot ASAP

University of Toronto News | Posted 12.07.2014 | Canada Living
University of Toronto News

Very soon, people of all ages across Canada will roll up their sleeves for their flu shots. The vaccine is already available in many doctors' offices...

Merck Has Some Explaining To Do Over Its MMR Vaccine Claims

Lawrence Solomon | Posted 11.27.2014 | Canada Politics
Lawrence Solomon

Merck now faces federal charges of fraud from the whistleblowers, a vaccine competitor and doctors in New Jersey and New York. Merck could also need to defend itself in Congress: The staff of representative Bill Posey (R-Fla) -- a longstanding critic of the CDC interested in an alleged link between vaccines and autism -- is now reviewing some 1,000 documents that the CDC whistleblower turned over to them.

When Boundaries Are Healthy

Kim Smiley | Posted 11.19.2014 | Canada Living
Kim Smiley

I know, in the internet age, many people think boundaries are passé. This is clear to me when I contemplate people's selfies on social media and their transgressions on Twitter. But I want to reframe the discussion to show that boundaries can be healthy. So let's explore some of the benefits.

I'm No Anti-Vaxxer, But the Measles Vaccine Can't Prevent Outbreaks

Lawrence Solomon | Posted 08.04.2014 | Canada Living
Lawrence Solomon

The recent outbreaks of measles in Canada and the United States came as a shock to many public health experts but they wouldn't have to Dr. Gregory Poland, one of the world's most admired, most advanced thinkers in the field of vaccinology. The measles vaccine has failed, he explained two years ago in a prescient paper.

'Don't Indulge Your Theories' On Vaccines, Says Harper

The Huffington Post Canada | Posted 05.30.2014 | Canada Living

In a rare interview that saw Stephen Harper speak out on issues that affect families personally, the Prime Minister gave a definitive response about v...

Anti-Vaxxers Are Stupid and Contagious

Joshua Ostroff | Posted 07.28.2014 | Canada Living
Joshua Ostroff

Drinking and driving is a choice -- however, it's an illegal choice because drunk drivers might kill themselves or, even worse, kill others who didn't have a say in the matter. But at least I've never heard of any drunk drivers justifying their actions by arguing that people die in car accidents not involving alcohol, too. That's the anti-vaccine rationale some parents are using to justify bringing back potentially deadly diseases and putting their children and others at risk, including infants, the elderly and people with immunodeficiencies or on chemotherapy.

Stop the Fear-Based Propaganda About Vaccines

Michael Kruse | Posted 07.05.2014 | Canada Living
Michael Kruse

The information war over vaccination is an obvious reflection of this fear. Public health has had its hands full during this war, but has failed to really counter the misinformation in vaccine hesitant communities. We are in desperate need for a new message, and a group of high school students from California have made one in a most spectacular way. Despite the myth-makers, the spin addicts, and the conspiracy nuts, cigarette use has gone down, climate science has become even more exact, and vaccines have been shown to be both safe and effective.

Ontario Gets Tougher On Vaccines For School-Age Kids

CP | Maria Babbage, The Canadian Press | Posted 06.16.2014 | Canada Living

TORONTO - It's "outrageously irresponsible" for celebrities like Jenny McCarthy to encourage parents not to immunize their children against potentiall...

Think We're Rid of Measles? Think Again

Jason Tetro | Posted 06.07.2014 | Canada
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg In the case of measles, the introduction and widespread use of the vaccine should have allowed us to put our fears away and look forward to a measles-free world. But now that future is at risk. The reasons are varied and will be explored over the coming years but in the meantime, the best way to be prepared is to be informed.

Have Access To a Measles Vaccine? Get It Now

Rebecca Cuneo Keenan | Posted 06.06.2014 | Canada
Rebecca Cuneo Keenan

We wait until newborns are two months old before giving them their first shots. Some people have underlying medical conditions that prevent them from getting vaccinated. And in rare instances a vaccination just might not be effective in any given individual. So those of us who can vaccinate our children really should.

Did you Get a Flu Shot this Year?

Carlo Montemagno | Posted 03.10.2014 | Canada Alberta
Carlo Montemagno

Thanks to ingenuity, the vaccinations of the future will be more efficient, safer and much more accessible to those who need them most.