Feds investing in new projects to improve Canadian vaccination rates

Little girl getting vaccination from pediatrician at office
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by Morinville News Staff

Midway through National Immunization Awareness Week, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced nearly $1.7 million in Immunization Partnership Fund funding for three new projects. The initiative seeks to increase Canadian vaccination coverage in Canada. The Prince Edward Island Department of Health and Wellness, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living, and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada lead the projects.

Minister Philpott also announced $1.2 million in funding for six research projects aimed to improve Canada’s ability to identify under- and un-immunized populations in Canada.

Citing a recent government survey, statistics show 95 per cent of Canadian parents agreed that vaccines are safe, and 97% agreed that vaccines are important for children’s health. However, the same survey noted that 70 per cent of parents were concerned about potential side effects.

“Vaccinations save lives. Thanks to vaccines, serious and often devastating vaccine-preventable diseases are no longer the norm in Canada,” Minister of Health Philpott said in a Health Canada release Wednesday. “Still, not enough Canadians are being vaccinated and the reasons why are complex. These projects will help us understand why people are not getting their vaccines and will create the tools to help increase coverage rates.”

The government says the objective of the investments announced Wednesday is to identify barriers to vaccination access and uptake, with particular emphasis on the vaccination coverage of women of reproductive age, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis, as well as newcomers to Canada.

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