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- Immunization Saves Lives, and Now It’s Even Easier For Families to Keep Track of Vaccination Records -

As local health officials promote the benefits of immunization, they are also highlighting a free mobile phone app that makes vaccine tracking even easier for families.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is highlighting the newly-released ImmunizeCA app that is designed to help people track immunization records for themselves and their loved ones. The app provides access to vaccination schedules based on information specific to people’s home province or territory.

It also features medical appointment reminders, notifications when a vaccine is due, answers to many vaccine questions and alerts of disease outbreaks. Funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the ImmunizeCA app is available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices. Users can download the app from the Immunize Canada website.

“Like eating well and being active, immunization is part of the foundation for a healthy life,” says Linda McCarey, Director of Communicable Disease Control with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Now there is a tool available that makes tracking vaccination easier for everyone.”

The availability of the ImmunizeCA app is only one point about vaccination that the Health Unit wants to make ahead of National Immunization Awareness Week (April 26 to May 3). In the Internet age when there is a lot of misinformation and scepticism about vaccines, McCarey says it is vital for people to have ready access to sound information about safe and effective vaccines.

“Immunization saves lives,” she says. “A century ago, infectious diseases were the leading cause of death worldwide. Today in Canada, they now cause fewer than five per cent of all deaths. Immunization has played a large role in achieving this result!”

McCarey notes it was not that long ago when diseases like diphtheria, polio, tetanus and whooping cough took a deadly toll on people and their families. “Today, because of wide-spread vaccination efforts, illnesses and deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases have been dramatically reduced,” she notes.

However, it is important to stay vigilant. Vaccine-preventable diseases can quickly return, McCarey adds. She points to the recent detection of measles cases in southern Ontario and other parts of the country, especially in areas where large numbers of people remain unvaccinated. “While measles is relatively rare in Canada thanks to high vaccination rates, measles cases do occur here, often related to travel to other countries where measles is more common,” McCarey says.

Ontario provides publicly-funded vaccines that are recommended for people of all ages to protect against various diseases. More information and a full list of these vaccines are available by clicking here. People are also encouraged to check their records to ensure they are up-to-date on vaccines. If unsure about the vaccines they have received, local residents can contact their health care providers or the Health Unit (toll-free call: 1-866-888-4577

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For media inquiries, contact:

Linda McCarey, Director of Communicable Disease Control, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100.

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