As we navigate the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must do everything possible to keep our families and communities healthy. Maintaining your children’s routine vaccinations helps protect the young, the elderly, and the medically-vulnerable as well as our front-line workers and first responders. “Vaccines and clean drinking water have saved more lives than any other health interventions in history,” says Dr. Joan Robinson, author of the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) position statement on improving childhood immunization rates in Canada. “The last thing we want is to come out of a pandemic and into community outbreaks of serious — and preventable — diseases.”
The CPS is urging parents and vaccine providers to continue with routine immunizations for children and youth across Canada throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.1 Preventing outbreaks of contagious diseases among children requires community-wide participation. Priority immunizations and boosters are given to infants and children at 2, 4, 6, 12, 15, and 18 months of age will help prevent 12 easily spread and potentially dangerous diseases, including whooping cough (pertussis), tetanus, measles, and meningitis.2
Protection from childhood vaccinations lasts into adulthood — consider that human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination of kids ages 9 to 12 (ideally before sexual contact) prevents most forms of cervical cancer, as well as vaginal and vulvar cancer in women, and genital warts, anal cancer, and possibly throat and mouth cancers in women and men.3
If the pandemic delays routine school-based immunizations, catch-up doses are likely to be available through a collaboration between local public health units, school partners, and primary care providers, the Canadian Immunization Guide notes.2 Let’s stay safe!
This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.