Contest Winner Helps Kick Off National Immunization Awareness Week
Iain MacKenzie, a Grade 6 student at Regina Christian School knows why immunizations are important.
“Immunizations are important because without them we would be much more susceptible to potentially fatal diseases,” MacKenzie said. “I feel it is my responsibility to be immunized so that those who can't have vaccines can still be safe.”
Earlier this year, Iain’s entry in the 2018 Canadian National Immunization Poster Contest was announced as Saskatchewan’s provincial winner. His poster, Dart the Disease, conveyed a positive message about immunization and how immunization protects children and adults from disease.
“We were proud to see a Saskatchewan student recognized for their good work conveying the importance of immunizations,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said. “I congratulate Iain on his notable achievement, and urge all Saskatchewan parents to have their kids vaccinated.”
Iain was invited to the Legislative Building to show off his winning poster and help kick off National Immunization Awareness Week, April 20 to 27. This annual event is held in the last week of April to highlight and recognize the importance of immunization.
“Immunization is recognized as one of the ‘Ten Great Public Health Achievements’ of the twentieth century by reducing hospital admissions and saving the lives of more infants and children than any other medical intervention in the past 60 years,” Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said. “Vaccines are safe, and a crucial part of keeping people healthy and preventing the spread of serious diseases.”
“Vaccination is particularly important for the health and safety of those who are most vulnerable, either because they are too young to be vaccinated or they have a medical condition that precludes them from being vaccinated or achieving optimal protection from a vaccine,” Saskatchewan Health Authority-Regina Medical Health Officer Dr. Tania Diener said. “Families with very young children or individuals with certain medical conditions rely on high rates of vaccination in the community to protect them from diseases that in some cases can be deadly.”
The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) will be recognizing National Immunization Awareness Week with a series of activities, including social media posts and SHA News stories. This marks the first year that the Public Health Officials in the SHA, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, and First Nations Health Jurisdictions have co-ordinated efforts to communicate province-wide the importance of immunizations in Saskatchewan.
For more information on immunizations, residents can contact their local public health office. Information on immunizations is also available through the HealthLine at 811, on the Government of Saskatchewan website at www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/health/accessing-health-care-services/immunization-services, or at www.immunize.ca.