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Immunization is one of the most important advances in public health and is estimated to have saved more lives in Canada over the past 50 years than any other health intervention. Immunization programs are responsible for the elimination, containment or control of infectious diseases that were once common in Canada; however, the viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine preventable diseases still exist globally, can be imported to Canada through travel, and can be transmitted to people who are not protected by immunization.

Immunization is important in all stages of life. Immunization directly protects individuals who receive vaccines. Through herd immunity, immunization against many diseases also prevents the spread of infection in the community and indirectly protects:

  • infants who are too young to be vaccinated,

  • people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons (e.g., certain immunosuppressed people who cannot receive live vaccines),

  • people who may not adequately respond to immunization (e.g.the elderly).


Please follow these links for more information on immunization:

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