Island Health is urging parents and guardians to to immunize their children.

The health authority continues to provide immunization shots for children, in particular ones who are six years old and younger. 

Medical Health Officer, Dr. Dee Hoyano, says that while we’re in a pandemic, other disease-causing bacteria and viruses may also be circulating. 

“I’m concerned that, with everything people are dealing with right now with the COVID-19 pandemic, that they are forgetting to think about some of the basic, important, preventative measures that they still should be taking. Immunization is one of those important ones,” Hoyano said.

“The last thing we want to see is an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease on top of the pandemic that we’re dealing with right now.”

Hoyano said while COVID-19 is a new disease, the other diseases that we immunize children against “will still be with us.”

“So we need to take those preventative measures, and vaccine is a very important way of preventing those illnesses,” she said. 

She added that public health units make safety their first priority.

This includes all provincial recommendations for physical distancing, enhanced cleaning, and screening for symptoms.

Island Health stresses that vaccines remain an extremely important, effective and safe way to protect your child and your community against many diseases and their complications. 

During previous outbreaks, immunization rates have declined, resulting in increased vaccine-preventable illness and death. 

Call your local public health unit  for more information and to book an appointment.  You can find your local health unit here.