Interior Health delivers nearly 800K immunization doses in 2023

Click to play video: 'IHA delivers 800,000 immunization doses in 2023'
IHA delivers 800,000 immunization doses in 2023
It's National Immunization Week and here in the Interior Health region, the occasion is being used to help raise awareness and thank the healthcare providers who helped deliver immunization doses across the region. But it's also an opportunity to help boost vaccine rates because as Klaudia Van Emmerik reports, there may be some post-pandemic vaccine fatigue. – Apr 23, 2024

Interior Health says it delivered nearly 800,000 immunization doses last year — a number almost equal to the region’s population.

The released figure of 784,980 comes during National Immunization Awareness Week, which runs April 22-30.

The health care organization, which serves a large area of around 820,000,  says it’s using the occasion to boost vaccine rates even though there may be post-pandemic vaccine fatigue.

“This is a very important initiative because it ensures that communicable diseases stay away from a region,” said Dr. Silvina Mema of Interior Health.

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However, not all those doses were for COVID; the tally includes childhood immunizations plus immunizations for adults.

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But IHA said immunizations are down from the height of the pandemic, when COVID vaccines were rolled out, though it seems to be on par with previous pre-pandemic years.

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Interior Health says it’d like to see the overall immunization rate rise.

“Certainly there are some folks who have decided a vaccine is not for them. And they have their reasons,” said Jonathan Spence, manager of communicable disease prevention and control at Interior Health.

“I think there’s a lot of people who are hesitant, but that’s just simply because they have questions.

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“And that’s actually part of what we’re celebrating this week is those public health nurses, those pharmacists, who can answer questions and answer questions with really good information around immunization.”

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Mima echoed that sentiment.

“We take immunization very seriously. It’s a science-based program that has saved countless lives across the world and eliminated diseases that were before a threat and now we don’t see them anymore,” she said.

“So immunization is very important.”

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