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Immunization education session Thursday in Grande Prairie

It’s National Immunization Awareness Week, and North Zone Medical Officer of Health Dr. Albert de Villiers is taking the opportunity to clear up any misinformation.
“It’s not such a complicated, kind of black box conspiracy theory issue that we’re trying to achieve anything else. We’re there to protect people and the vaccines have been proven safe and there’s lots of tests that they do before they release it to the market, so it’s kind of common sense; I don’t know why you wouldn’t take the vaccine.”
Children are supposed to get vaccinations when they’re two months, four months, six months, and one year old, as well as annually after that. However, de Villiers says  the percentages for some vaccines are higher than others in our region.
“We’re not getting enough vaccine in. Some of the rates are as high as in the high eighties, but there’s others that are much lower than that, so we want to make sure we get everybody in, so that we can eventually report everything in the nineties, because that’s when you really get what they call ‘herd immunity’.”
He says that would mean that if one person gets a disease, they won’t infect anybody else.
De Villiers encourages parents to do their own research on vaccines, but to make sure what they read online is science-based. Alberta Health Services introduces last year that can answer some questions, and is holding an education session this Thursday in Grande Prairie from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Public Health Centre.

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