Immunization / Vaccination

National Immunization Awareness Week

National Immunization Awareness Week (NIAAW) is an annual event that draws attention to the importance of immunization for people of all ages. This year, National Immunization Awareness Week is April 22 to 30.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that immunization prevents between 2-3 million deaths every year. It is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions in the last 50 years.

Vaccinations are provided throughout the lifespan starting at birth and continuing until you are a senior.

Normally, due to historically high vaccination rates in Canada and the NWT, we see very few cases of vaccine preventable diseases. Unfortunately, this trend has changed and we are now seeing a decrease in vaccination coverage rates, with the resulting reappearance of vaccine-preventable infectious disease outbreaks that have not been seen in the NWT or Canada for years. As an example, the NWT recently experienced cases of mumps, a disease that had last been seen in 1995.

It is therefore important that we continue to maintain high vaccination rates for both children and adults, with all of the vaccines available to us in the NWT, and that these vaccinations be received on time!

What you can do to protect yourself and your family:

  • Check the NWT Immunization Schedule and/or contact your local public health unit or health care provider to see if your vaccinations are up to date or if there are any new vaccines available for your age or condition.
  • Download the CANImmunize app on your smartphone or tablet to keep track of your and your entire families’ immunization records. The App will notify you when you or your family member is due for the next immunization.
  • Talk to your health care provider six to eight weeks before you travel to another country, to ensure that you have the opportunity to receive vaccines against preventable illnesses that are not common in Canada.
  • Talk to your employer to find out if there are any vaccines recommended or required for your type of work.
  • If you have certain medical conditions, you may be at greater risk for some vaccine preventable diseases. Talk to your health care provider to see if you have a medical condition and would benefit from additional vaccinations.
  • There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet about vaccines and it is important to get the facts. Here are credible online resources.

Want more information?

For more information immunization, please click on the following links.