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Give tetanus the boot for National Immunization Awareness Week
Release Date: 23-Apr-2012
For the first time in the world’s history, more than 180 World Health Organization member states, territories, and areas are celebrating the millions of lives saved and countless disease cases prevented in Canada and around the world. Supported by the World Health Organization, the world’s first World Immunization Week is from April 21 to 28, 2012. To celebrate National Immunization Awareness Week in Canada and World Immunization Week, KFL&A Public Health is urging residents to ensure that their shots are up-to-date, especially their tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough vaccines. This year, Canada is part of a bigger group of countries celebrating the success of immunizations across the globe.
“We want to encourage all residents to make sure their vaccines are up-to-date,” said Angela Shepherd, public health nurse with KFL&A Public Health. “Many people are no longer protected against these diseases and need boosters. Routine immunizations, including tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough are available free of charge from family doctors and KFL&A Public Health’s drop-in Immunization Clinic.”
“Canada is rigorous about vaccine safety,” said Dr. Ian Gemmill, Medical Officer of Health with KFL&A Public Health. “Immunizations are safe and benefit people of all ages. They protect individuals and communities by preventing the spread of disease. As more people are immunized, the disease risk for everyone is reduced.”
- Tetanus is known as lockjaw, tetanus is often fatal.
- It is caused by a germ found in dirt, dust, manure, human feces, etc., and therefore the risk is always present.
- Tetanus causes painful tightening of the muscles and death in about 3 out of 10 cases.
- Of those who are infected with tetanus in Canada, 27 percent have no history of an injury.
- Immunization is the only way to be protected against tetanus.
- Diphtheria is a bacterium that infects the nose, throat, and skin and can damage the heart and central nervous system
- Of those infected with diphtheria, 10 percent die.
- In Canada, 20 percent or more of people are not protected against diphtheria.
- Immunization is your best protection against diphtheria.
- Pertussis is commonly called whooping cough, and is often undiagnosed in adults who are a common source of pertussis infection for infants and young children.
- Infants are at increased risk of complications from pertussis. The most common complication is pneumonia and 1 in 400 hospitalized infants with pertussis will have brain damage.
- There have been recent outbreaks of pertussis in Canada.
- Immunization is your best protection against pertussis.
KFL&A Public Health offers a drop-in Immunization Clinic every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at its Kingston Office, 221 Portsmouth Avenue. A weekly Family Friendly Routine Immunization Clinic is held by appointment on Wednesday evenings from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Kingston Office. Appointments can be made online at KFL&A Public Health’s website at www.kflapublichealth.ca/appointments/ or by calling 613-549-1232 or 1-800-267-7875, ext. 1451.
Public Health Nurse
KFL&A Public Health
613-549-1232, ext. 1119
KFL&A Public Health
613-549-1232, ext. 1236