NDP Health and Long-Term Care Critic Shelley Martel
urged the McGuinty Liberal government to immediately implement measures to
new study indicates that one in three toddlers has not received the
recommended shots against childhood illnesses despite an average of 19
doctors’ visits in the first two years of life,” said Martel.
“This is distressing because young children are particularly
susceptible to vaccine-preventable diseases, such as rubella, and may end
up having more health problems later on in their lives as teenagers and
adults because of this deficit.”
study by the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) –
published today in Pediatrics,
the journal of the
– looked at the physician billing records for 101,570 infants born in
1997 and June 1998. Children
were considered to have up-to-date coverage if they had at least five
immunizations by the age of two. The
study didn’t include newer vaccines for chicken pox, meningitis, and the
study highlights a huge shortfall in childhood vaccinations in
which must be
addressed by this government,” said the Nickel Belt MPP.
“Simple measures that could be adopted include reminding family
physicians about the importance of regularly-scheduled vaccinations and
producing a pamphlet in different languages for distribution in doctor’s
offices, walk-in clinics, Community Health Centres, day care centres, and
Astrid Guttmann, a scientist and the lead author of the study, also
recommended investing in electronic health records so immunization can be
more easily tracked and parents sent reminders.
She also felt that designing an “immunization champion” in each
medical practice should achieve higher immunization rates.
is one of the first studies to track such a large number of children,”
said Martel. “It’s
important for the McGuinty Liberal government to take this study seriously
and to act on it in a timely manner so that we can stem the tide of
Ontario children falling through the cracks.
Basic childhood vaccines are free and one of the most
cost-effective interventions. There’s
absolutely no reason for low vaccination rates in
health care system.”
’s target is a 95 percent immunization rate
for the 2 and under group.