National Immunization Awareness Week (NIAW) is an annual event held in the last week of April to highlight and recognize the importance of immunization.
Also known as vaccinations, immunizations help protect you and those around you from getting an infectious disease.
This year’s NIAW comes at an important moment, and the Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) is encouraging residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they become eligible as the province’s hospitals continue to feel the strain of the pandemic’s third wave.
“Vaccines are the safest and best way we have to prevent infectious diseases such as COVID-19, and they contribute to the protection and sustainability of our healthcare systems so we can continue providing necessary in-person clinical services,” says Jeanette Despatie, President and Chief Executive Officer of CCH.
Herd immunity can be reached only as more people in a community get vaccinated, making it harder for a disease to spread. When vaccination rates drop in a community, it’s easier for a disease to spread from person to person and cause an outbreak, which could put a strain on local hospitals.
For generations, vaccines have also safely helped to reduce the spread of other infectious diseases including influenza, polio, measles, mumps and rubella.
“A successful immunization program depends on the cooperation of everyone,” adds Despatie.
Vaccines approved for use in Canada, including COVID-19 vaccines, have been studied and tested through a variety of methods to gather all the scientific information necessary to ensure that they are safe and effective.
People are encouraged to always seek trusted and reliable information sources on diseases including COVID-19 and their vaccines. For more information on immunizations and COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, please visit the Eastern Ontario Health Unit website at www.eohu.ca.
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