The Five Hills Health Region (FHHR) is working on improving child immunization coverage.
“We’re really wanting to try and improve our immunization coverage rates to keep our children safe and healthy,” said registered nurse Sherri Buhler who is also the director of public health services and primary health care teams for the FHHR. “One of the best ways for us to do that is for immunizations and understanding how we can make it as easy as possible for families to get their little ones immunized.”
She said children are recommended to get immunizations at ages two months, four months, six months, 12 months and 18 months as well as between the ages of four and six. The goal is for 95 per cent of children to have all immunizations required by age two and seven.
The latest data available from the 2010-11 year stated that an average of 78 per cent of two-year-olds were receiving all of their immunizations up to that age. For seven-year-olds, the immunization coverage was 93.2 per cent in the same year.
“The reason it’s so important for young children to be immunized is because they’re often exposed to a whole host of communicable diseases and their bodies aren’t fully able to fight. They’re more vulnerable,” said Buhler. “For example if I got whooping cough, I would certainly be sick. I’d have a nasty cough. I’d feel miserable. There would be some risk of complication, but the risk of complication and death is much more significant for a younger child.”
For more information, see an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.