Ontario Legislature Recognizes the Importance of Vaccinations

MPP Vernile Champions Motion to Keep Ontarians Safe and Protect the Vulnerable

Queen’s Park - Yesterday the Ontario Legislature unanimously passed a motion, introduced by Daiene Vernile, MPP for Kitchener Centre, to recognize the overwhelming body of evidence-based support for immunization through vaccinations in the effort to prevent the spread of disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO) found that measles are the leading global cause of vaccine-preventable deaths in children under age 5. Prior to the introduction of the measles vaccination in Canada in the early 1960s, approximately 400,000 cases of measles were reported annually. By the mid-1990s this number decreased dramatically, to just over 2,000.

Immunization is truly one of the most significant advancements in public health in our country, and has saved more lives than any other health intervention measure.

Over the past several months there has been significant media coverage on vaccinations. For infants too young to be vaccinated, elderly people too aged to vaccinate, and other vulnerable populations, unvaccinated carriers of a virus, like measles, pose a danger with devastating, preventable, consequences.

I am proud the Ontario government currently funds 22 vaccines protecting against 16 preventable illnesses.

Immunization is not only good for public health, it is also good for the public purse. By funding vaccinations, we are preventing the spread of disease, and keeping emergency rooms and doctors’ offices available for those in urgent need of care. This is part of our government’s commitment to ensuring healthcare dollars are spent with greatest efficacy using evidence-based best practices.

• The risk of contracting the disease for an unvaccinated person is greater than the risk of the vaccine itself

• Vaccination is like a rehearsal for the immune system, preparing antibodies in the event of exposure to the actual virus

• Measles continues to be one of the leading causes of death globally, even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available

• Vaccinations have saved more lives in Canada than any other health intervention in the last 50 years

• The belief that the MMR vaccination leads to autism was first published by Dr. Andrew Wakefield in The Lancet, a medical journal, in 1998. The Lancet later discredited the claim, and Dr. Wakefield’s physician’s license was revoked in the U.K.

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