National Immunization Awareness Week (NIAW) is an annual event to highlight and recognize the importance of immunization.
One hundred years ago, infectious diseases were the leading cause of death worldwide. In Canada, these diseases now cause less than 5% of all deaths – thanks in part to immunization programs across the country.
Immunization does not just protect the people who get immunized – it protects those around them too. When the majority of people in a community are immunized against a disease, it greatly reduces the chances of that disease spreading in the community. It protects infants who are too young to be immunized and those who cannot be immunized due to medical reasons.
Immunization has probably saved more lives in Canada in the last 50 years than any other health intervention. Immunization is the single most cost-effective health investment, making it a cornerstone in health promotion.