Canadian Immunization Conference highlights Innovation, Education and Partnership

November 30, 2008
For immediate release

TORONTO, November 30, 2008 – Recent outbreaks of mumps and measles around the country demonstrate that unless we protect against them, vaccine preventable diseases can threaten public health in Canada. In order to address this and other emerging issues in immunization, more than 1,000 of Canada’s leaders in the field, including researchers, policy makers, medical experts and front-line workers, gather in Toronto this week for the 8th Canadian Immunization Conference.”Immunization saves more lives than any other public health intervention,” said Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, “Recent reports of declining immunization rates show us that it’s more important than ever for us to come together to discuss strategies for protecting Canadians through immunization, and that’s why the Government of Canada is proud to support this Conference.”

Hosted by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society, the Canadian Public Health Association, and the Canadian Association for Immunization Research and Evaluation, the bi-annual conference is focusing on Innovation, Education and Partnership, three key elements needed to continue the successful history of immunization in Canada.

“Immunization is highly effective in preventing disease,” said Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, “In order to provide maximum protection, we need to ensure Canadians recognize the importance of keeping their immunizations up-to-date.”

Many recommended immunizations are administered in childhood to protect against diseases that were once common in childhood, like mumps, measles, whooping cough and chicken pox.

“All children should have the opportunity grow up to lead happy, healthy and productive lives,” said Dr. Joanne Embree, President of the Canadian Paediatric Society. “As such, all children should have access to the safe and effective vaccines that can protect them against disease.”

All levels of Canadian government, non-government organizations, and public health organizations work together to implement immunization programs and to address issues around immunization.

“This conference is a great opportunity for us to share our successes and identify our challenges as we develop new initiatives to help safeguard the personal and community health of Canadians and people around the world,” said Ron de Buger, Chair of the Canadian Public Health Association.

One of the ways the Conference allows participants to share their knowledge is through the presentation of emerging research in the immunization field.

“Research from the bench to program implementation ensures that Canadians have access to the best possible immunization programs,” said Dr. David Scheifele, Chair of the Canadian Association for Immunization Research, and Evaluation and Professor of Paediatrics specializing in Infectious Diseases.

The Canadian Immunization Conference is being held from November 30- December 3 at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto. For more information, including a conference program, please visit:

Josée Bellemare
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Christine LaRocque
Manager, Public Affairs
Canadian Paediatric Society
(613) 850-4868

Angela Slobodian
Canadian Public Health Association
(613) 295-0565

Philippe Brideau
Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
(613) 808-2796

Gordean Bjornson
Canadian Association for Immunization
Research and Evaluation
(604) 230-5661

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