Ontario pediatricians urge parents to start 2019 by updating children’s vaccines

The Pediatricians Alliance of Ontario (PAO) is urging parents in the province to make a special resolution to make sure their children, under age 18, have their vaccines up to date for 2019.

“This is the perfect time of year to emphasize the V in resolve, to update and schedule vaccines.” said Dr. Hirotaka Yamashiro, PAO president.

He urges every parent to recite, “As caring parents, we resolVe for 2019 to ensure that vaccines for our children/youth are up-to-date so they will stay healthy. I will (a) find their yellow immunization card and (b) book an appointment to see my primary care pediatrician or family doctor if I’m not sure my yellow card is up to date, and (c) if I cannot find my yellow card, contact my doctor or local public health unit to make sure my child is up to date.”

Vaccination is the best way to protect children and youth against many dangerous diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, Haemophilus influenzae type B, rotavirus, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, pneumococcal and meningococcal diseases, and human papillomavirus virus (HPV).

Yamashiro also pointed to a recent PAO warning about an unusual spike in pediatric pneumonia rippling across Ontario.

“An early flu season is currently affecting children disproportionately and we urge parents to get a flu nasal spray vaccine for their kids if over age two and a needle if over six months of age.” he said.

Parents wanting to know more about immunizations, the appropriate age-related vaccine schedule and a list of Ontario Health Units to contact for verifying their children/youth vaccine records can find information links at pedsontario.com/vaccines.

If parents have specific questions, they should contact their Public Health Unit or see their pediatrician, family doctor or nurse practitioner.

Hyttalo Souza photo

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