Toronto Public Health (TPH) recently launched a new public education campaign for parents and caregivers promoting vaccines.
TPH is focusing this campaign on children’s perspectives on vaccines, their safety and how getting vaccinated helps to keep them, their friends and families healthy.
The Kids Talk Vaccines campaign includes children’s video messages featured on YouTube and other social media platforms, and posters at TTC bus shelters, libraries and community centres.
“More public education is needed to help people who have questions about vaccines make evidence-based informed choices. This campaign uses a lighthearted and creative approach to promote vaccines as a part of good overall health in an engaging way. By vaccinating your child, not only are you protecting them, you are also helping to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in your community. If you have questions about vaccines or immunizations, I encourage you to speak with your physician,” said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health.
Immunization has saved more lives than any other health care intervention. Immunization provides a safe form of protection against infections that previously caused significant illness, disease and death.
However, cases of vaccine preventable diseases still occur and vaccine hesitancy, the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines, is a growing concern in Canada and worldwide. This campaign is part of a comprehensive strategy to promote vaccines and respond to vaccine hesitancy in Toronto.
Toronto Public Health plays an important role in educating the public to make informed choices based on evidence, to correct misinformation and ultimately protect the health of the community by maintaining high vaccination rates. In Ontario, all children attending child care centres, or school require certain vaccines according to Ontario’s immunization schedule, or a valid exemption. Each year Toronto Public Health assesses vaccination records of school aged children to maintain high levels of protection for all children. In the 2018-19 school year, 94 per cent of 7 to 17 years olds were up-to-date with the measles, mumps, rubella vaccines and 1.7 per cent of these students had a philosophical or religious exemption.
More information is available at toronto.ca/community-people/health-wellness-care/health-programs-advice/immunization.