Did you know that in the last 50 years, immunization has saved more lives than any other health intervention in Canada? Immunization works to protect you against specific diseases that can make you very sick or even kill you. Once you get immunized, your body works to make antibodies against that specific disease. Antibodies act as a defense for your body to protect you if you are exposed to the disease in the future.
April 26 to May 3 is National Immunization Awareness Week in Canada.
There can be a lot of confusing and misleading information on immunizations, so here are a few common questions and answers:
Q: We’ve been immunizing for a long time. Are the diseases gone? Is it safe to stop immunizing?
A: These diseases are still around. Some vaccine-preventable diseases are rare in Canada (e.g., diphtheria); however, history has shown that rates of disease increase if we stop immunizing.
Q: What are common side effects of an immunization?
A: Every immunization is a little different, but common side effects are a low fever or soreness where the shot was given.
Q: Is it better to get the disease “naturally” rather than to get the vaccine?
A: No, natural infection from some diseases can make people very sick or kill them before their body is able to fight it off.
The risks associated with vaccines are much less than the risks associated with disease.
For additional trusted information about vaccinations and immunizations, check out HealthLink BC, or download their app, BC Health Service Locator.
Want to make it easier to remember when you or someone in your family is due for their next immunization? Go to ImmunizeBC to set up text reminders that will be sent right to your phone to remind you of upcoming immunizations. It is free, and can be used for any age and immunization. This website also has a lot of good information on immunizations, and has a chat room that allows people to talk to a nurse. Also, you can download a free app (ImmunizeCA) to help you keep track of your family’s vaccinations. For more information or to receive immunizations, please contact your local health unit.
What are some of the ways that you keep track of your immunizations?
About Kim Garrison
Kim is the Public Health Communications Liaison Nurse and works out of Mackenzie. She has a background in public health, and is a graduate of UNBC. She was born and raised in Prince George, and recently moved to Mackenzie with her young family. Her favorite thing about Mackenzie so far is Morfee Lake, which is about five minutes away from her house! She keeps busy chasing after her little ones, and enjoys getting outside when it’s not too cold out!