COLUMN: The importance of immunization

SD&SG MP Guy Lauzon. (Newswatch Group/File)

There were recently an increased number of reported cases of measles in various regions of North America, an uncommon trend that gathered significant international media coverage. While the headline news has since faded, and while we are doing fine here in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, I believe it is important that we must not take things for granted.

Our Government believes immunizing Canadians against preventable diseases is of the utmost importance. We continue to play an active leadership role in encouraging Canadians to get vaccinated.

Here’s a bold fact: over the last fifty years, immunization has saved more lives than any other health measure. Vaccination is the best way to prevent serious diseases.

Homeopathic alternatives, such as nosodes, are not a substitute for vaccines. There are no substitutes for vaccines. That is why nosodes packaging is required to include the frank statement: “This product is not intended to be an alternative to vaccination.” There is no evidence to support their use in this way.

Canada boasts one of the highest immunization rates in the world at around 95%. We are committed to keeping these levels high and continue to reach out to Canadians who are not yet vaccinated.

We spend over $15 million per year on immunization funding. Through our efforts, the Government ensures the safety of vaccines, supports research on immunization, and promotes immunization through the National Immunization Strategy.

Despite our success rate and our funding commitments to encourage high participation levels and awareness, the best resource we can have is all Canadians understanding the facts and promoting them to their family, friends, and those who challenge the credibility of these great initiatives.

I urge all constituents in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry to get their families protected by getting vaccinated if you haven’t already. Become informed based on sound evidence, and talk to your health provider. A Parent’s Guide to Vaccination and www.immunize.ca are excellent tools to help parents make sure their kids are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

The Federal Government will continue working with our provincial and territorial health partners to promote public awareness and the uptake of vaccines.

Everyone has a role to play. Do your part by ensuring that you and your family are vaccinated. Let’s make sure our community and our children are easily protected together.

Guy Lauzon
Member of Parliament

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