Canada’s measles vaccination coverage is declining, PHAC says amid global concern – National

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said this week it shares concerns raised by international health experts about new risks of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases among children. I’m here.

In a statement to Global News on Thursday, the agency noted that uptake of the measles vaccine in Canada has declined over the past few years, but cited COVID-19 as the reason for the current vaccination decline. He pointed out the -19 pandemic and vaccine hesitation among some parents.

“Canadian provinces and territories show that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions, delays and gaps in routine immunizations for children,” the statement said.

There are currently no active cases of measles in the country, but three cases have been reported this year, according to the latest PHAC report.

A joint report released Wednesday by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that measles “is a described as an imminent global threat. 19 Pandemic.

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In 2021, nearly 40 million children worldwide will not receive the measles vaccine due to disruptions and delays in routine immunization programs due to the pandemic, according to the report.

Sherry Bolotin, director of the Center for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases at the University of Toronto, told Global News on Thursday.

“We live in a globalized world, and measles may be imported from other countries, so when global infection rates decline, it becomes a concern for all of us.”

In line with WHO guidelines, Canada has set a target of 95% measles vaccination coverage for the first dose by age two and the second dose by age seven.

A survey done before the COVID-19 pandemic showed that 90% of 2-year-olds had received at least one measles vaccine. This is her two-dose vaccine, with the second dose given at age 18 months or usually before school.

However, the pandemic has disrupted childhood vaccinations in the country.

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Possible Consequences of Not Getting Measles Vaccination

In Ontario, health officials warned in April that thousands of students were not getting the vaccines normally given in schools.

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Routine immunizations usually provided by doctors, such as measles, mumps and rubella vaccines, have also been delayed in some areas due to the pandemic, they said.

Meanwhile, in Alberta, provincial data for the Calgary region in September showed measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination coverage increased from 86% of children who received two doses by age 7 in 2019 to It was shown to drop to 78% per person. 2021 cents.

In a previous interview with Global News, infectious disease expert Dr. Craig Gennes said it was well below the 95% coverage needed to prevent measles outbreaks.

According to WHO’s measles director Patrick O’Connor, a combination of factors, such as prolonged social distancing measures and the cyclical nature of measles, has led to a global pandemic despite widening immunity gaps. That might explain why cases haven’t exploded yet, but that could change quickly.

“We are at a crossroads,” O’Connor told Reuters on Tuesday.

Click to play video: 'AHS issues warning after confirmed measles case in Edmonton, St. Albert'

AHS issues warning after confirmed measles case in Edmonton, St. Albert

According to PHAC, Canada was measles-free in 1998, thanks to vaccination efforts. However, the elimination was “revalidated” in July of this year.

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PHAC urges Canadians traveling outside of Canada to refer to their travel health notices for information on measles and rubella outbreaks occurring in other countries.

“Measles is a threat everywhere, as the virus can spread rapidly across multiple communities and borders,” said the WHO.

Bolotin said it was “absolutely” important to remind parents from Public Health of the importance of immunizations, given the new report’s findings, especially those who missed their children’s appointments during the pandemic. said to be important if

She also stressed that the measles vaccine is “incredibly safe”.

“Despite the conversation about COVID-19 (vaccine), I hope people will trust this (measles) vaccine and trust the way health care providers communicate with them,” she said. said.

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Measles cases rise 79% globally after COVID-19 hits children’s vaccination campaigns

Measles is a serious, highly contagious respiratory disease that can be spread through direct contact or through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. Viruses can also be transmitted by touching contaminated surfaces.

Early symptoms include high fever, runny nose, cough, watery eyes, and small white spots in the mouth. A few days after the first symptoms appear, a red rash appears on the face and body that lasts for about a week.

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Bolotin called measles vaccination the “canary in the coal mine” for children’s health because of how contagious the disease is. The contagious period begins as early as four days before she develops symptoms and can continue for four days after she has no symptoms, she said.

“When something goes wrong with child health, child immunization, one of the first things that let us know is a measles outbreak,” she said.

Despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine, measles kills thousands of young children worldwide each year.

An estimated 9 million measles cases and 128,000 deaths were reported last year, according to WHO. According to Health Canada, it kills an average of more than 140,000 people each year, most of them children under the age of five.

— Using files from Reuters and Canadian Press

Canada’s measles vaccination coverage is declining, PHAC says amid global concern – National

Source link Canada’s measles vaccination coverage is declining, PHAC says amid global concern – National

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