National Immunization Awareness Week
25 April 2022
This week is National Immunization Awareness Week (NIAW). NIAW aims to raise awareness of the importance of immunization and the positive impact immunization has in protecting public health and saving countless lives. Running concurrently with NIAW is Vaccination Week in the Americas and World Immunization Week.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought immunization to the forefront of public health awareness and virus prevention, but for over a century immunization has had great success in protecting Ontarians, Canadians and populations around the world. Immunization is widely recognized as one of the greatest public health achievements of the twentieth century, and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic were estimated to save between four and five million lives every year.
Public Health Ontario immunization expertise
Immunization programs are an important foundation of Ontario’s health system. Public Health Ontario (PHO) provides scientific and technical expertise in immunization and vaccine-preventable disease control and conducts provincial surveillance of immunization programs, including immunization coverage assessment, vaccine safety and vaccine preventable disease surveillance. We offer a variety of resources and provide support for public health units and other partners in the immunization system in Ontario. PHO’s immunization resources include research, surveillance reports, and infographics, to help you achieve a clear understanding of the importance of vaccines. We also offer data and reports specific to COVID-19 vaccine immunization.
Continued vigilance is required at all levels of government to ensure that Ontarians are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases that represent an ongoing threat to public health.
The new Ontario Immunization Advisory Committee
PHO hosts various External Advisory Committees. Established in August 2021 at the request of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario Immunization Advisory Committee (OIAC) is a multidisciplinary scientific advisory body that provides evidence-based advice to PHO on vaccines and immunization matters including vaccine program implementation in Ontario, priority populations and clinical guidance. The focus of their work is on publicly-funded vaccines and immunization programs in Ontario, including COVID-19 and those under consideration for new programming.