Enhancements To Ontario’s Publicly Funded Immunization Program For Children
Submitted by Margaret Hendriks, RN, BScN, Public Health Nurse
By January 1, 2005, three new publicly funded vaccines will be added to the recommended schedule of routine childhood immunizations. Currently these vaccines are available to parents, but at very high personal financial cost. With the Ontario government covering the cost of these vaccines, the expected savings to parents could be more than $600 per child.
By providing these vaccines, we will be protecting our young children against serious childhood diseases. One of the vaccines provided under this new funding is Pneumococcal Conjugate. This prevents invasive pneumococcal diseases, which include pneumonia, meningitis and infection of the bloodstream. The next vaccine is Varicella. This prevents a common childhood illness known to us all as chicken pox, as well as its secondary complications that could include bacterial skin infections.
The last new vaccine is Meningococcal Conjugate C. This prevents invasive meningococcal disease including meningitis and infection of the blood. The addition of theses vaccines to the provincial program will ensure that children no longer suffer the serious or fatal effects of these vaccine preventable illnesses in children.