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April 26, 2010
Toronto Public Health urges parents to update children’s immunization
During National Immunization Awareness Week (April 24-May 1), Toronto Public Health is reminding parents to check their children’s immunization records to make sure they are up-to-date. Immunization plays an important role in preventing illness and saving lives. A century ago, many children died before their fifth birthday from diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and measles. Thanks to immunization, many of these once common illnesses are now rare.

Despite the benefits of immunization, national data has shown that only 75 per cent of two year-olds have been immunized against pertussis and only 61 per cent against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, haemophilus influenza B, measles, mumps and rubella. Under-immunization of two year-old children has been reported across Canada, and in Toronto.

“Immunization works best when everyone is immunized as recommended, making it more difficult for diseases to spread from person to person,” said Dr. Vinita Dubey, Associate Medical Officer of Health for Toronto Public Health. “Immunization helps build a circle of protection around the whole community, especially those who can’t be immunized for medical reasons.” For example, newborns are protected from vaccine preventable diseases when their family members and other contacts have received their age-appropriate immunizations.

“We know most parents understand the importance of immunizing their children,” Dr. Dubey said. “We urge parents to take this opportunity to check their children’s records to make sure they are up-to-date. If children are missing one or more vaccinations, parents should contact a health care provider to arrange for vaccinations.”

More information is also available on the Toronto Public Health website at

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media contact:
Susan Sperling,
Toronto Public Health,



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