Are you protected from the risk of serious illness due to communicable
A message from Marion Guenther, Clinical Nurse Specialist for Immunizations
Each year, during the last week of April, health care professionals use National Immunization Awareness Week to remind people of the importance of getting routine vaccinations.
In Canada, vaccines have saved more lives than any other medical intervention in the past 50 years. Before vaccines, many Canadians died or were disabled by vaccine-preventable diseases including diphtheria, measles, whooping cough and polio.
Although immunization has almost completely controlled these diseases in Canada, the viruses and bacteria that cause them are still circulating around the world. Some diseases are still fairly common in other countries and can easily be brought to Canada by travellers. If enough people were to stop getting immunized, these diseases could make a comeback.
Diseases tend to spread more quickly in small communities where people gather together, putting First Nations communities at higher risk.
Vaccines are for everyone
Having your children vaccinated on time is important and helps ensure that they get the protection they need as early as possible.
Teenagers, adults, and Elders need vaccines too! Getting vaccinated also protects your whole community, including those who will not or cannot be vaccinated.
Vaccines can also help protect against cancers caused by certain sexually transmitted infections.
Now is a good time to talk to your health care provider about vaccines you or your family may need. Vaccines are safe and they work!
Access to vaccines and vaccine records
If you want to access your vaccine record, find out if you are missing any vaccines, or get vaccinated:
In either case, you can access your records by registering for the province's Health Gateway, an online web portal that provides a single place for BC residents to access their health records.
Vaccines are strongly encouraged
Please get yourself and your children immunized! It's one of the best things you can do to protect your community's health. If you are still not sure, please read more about how vaccines work or talk to your health care provider.