The Canadian government has approved a variety of products that will allow Canadian children to receive more than the minimum number of shots required for vaccination, Reuters reports. The approval was made public on Wednesday by Canada’s health minister, Ginette Petitpas Taylor.
The five new vaccines approved by Health Canada are part of a series of improvements for the country’s childhood immunization system, which is known to have flaws, which lead to delays and compromises. These delays occur primarily because older vaccines stop working as the body ages, or do not protect against things that the parents would want their children to avoid. However, the proportion of children getting the minimum number of vaccinations was reduced in Canada from 83 percent in 2017 to 74 percent in 2018. The improvements are expected to reverse those numbers, which will be a critical step in improving the nation’s public health.
The first shot to be approved, called Fluarix, was approved for use in kids in July and has already been purchased by Canada’s Public Health Agency. Fluarix is a three-shot set of injections that prevents flu. A second vaccine, called Fluad, was approved by Health Canada for use in children in August and has since been purchased by the country’s Public Health Agency. Fluad is a three-shot two-dose regimen that protects against 10 different strains of flu. For comparison, many vaccine-preventable illnesses, like measles, require two doses.
Health Canada also recently approved six other brands of vaccines, including one that protects against a new form of measles and another that guards against mumps, and the last two that fight against more than a dozen different types of influenza. These updates address gaps that have been identified by researchers, particularly in the area of whooping cough, which became much more common in the Canadian province of Alberta after Ontario decided in 2017 to not to include the vaccine for pertussis in its childhood immunization schedule.
Read the full story at Reuters.
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