The second face-to-face meeting of the Vaccine Safety Net (VSN) was held on 4–5 June 2018, bringing together 89 participants, including 60 VSN representatives from 27 countries in all six World Health Organization regions. Members of the VSN were invited to discuss approaches, strategies and challenges in managing digital information and communications on vaccine safety in a credible way.
Network members and selected stakeholders discussed strategies to address Internet users’ information needs, reviewed ways to communicate the safety of vaccine through digital and social media and debated the pertinence of addressing controversies and vaccine hesitancy in the digital sphere. Participants were invited to think “outside the box” and find new ideas to sustain confidence in vaccines on the web.
The digital world makes it possible to reach millions of people with strategic information. It also offers the possibility of directing tailored messages that address the interests and sensitivity of specific audiences. The meeting documented important progress in the Network, in terms of both size and diversity and also the range of activities.
The VSN is breaking new ground by taking advantage of the diverse skills of its members. Digital campaigns, web analytics and social media listening are likely to enhance the impact of the Network. New initiatives have been launched to address vaccine hesitancy that have taught us valuable lessons. A long list of actionable items was retained. They range from broadening the VSN membership to selective communication strategies and include expansion, development of new tools and refinement of existing ones, establishment of new activities and training.
This Canadian Paediatric Society practice point provides quick information for front-line health care providers on vaccine-preventable diseases which, given the success of immunization programs in Canada, are now uncommon or rarely seen. These infections can still occur in children and youth from Canada and elsewhere, and their clinical identification has important public health implications. Knowledge of signs and symptoms, immunizing travellers and newcomers to Canada, awareness of outbreaks in-community and elsewhere, and early consultation with an expert in infectious diseases and public health authorities in suspected cases, are key preventive care measures.
Parents are responsible for the well-being of their children, including protecting them from illness caused by diseases that are vaccine-preventable. Learn about vaccination and why it is important to your child’s health.
This practice point offers evidence-based guidance for provincial/territorial immunization programs, clinics and office practices on how to address hesitancy and improve vaccine uptake rates. Steps to take include the following: 1) Detecting under-immunized subgroups (which requires record-keeping), diagnosis and targeted interventions; 2) Educating all health care workers involved with immunization on best practices; 3) Employing evidence-based strategies to increase uptake, including reminders, convenient clinic hours and locations, and tailored communication; 4) Educating children, youth and adults on the importance of immunization for health; and 5) Working collaboratively across provincial/territorial jurisdictions and with the federal government, nongovernmental organizations, community leaders and health services.
Announcing the publication of the WHO immunological basis for immunization series module on influenza vaccines
In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a document aimed at facilitating influenza vaccine introduction and use in low- and middle-income countries. The document, “The Immunological Basis for Immunization Series: Influenza Vaccines”, is freely available on the WHO website. The main purpose of this document is to give immunization managers and vaccination professionals an authoritative but easily-understood overview of the scientific basis of influenza vaccination and the immunological basis for the WHO position on influenza vaccines. The influenza vaccine document comprises one module of the WHO Immunological Basis for Immunization series. The immunization community is invited to use these references; it is hoped that the influenza vaccine module will be a valuable resource for persons who manage and monitor influenza vaccine programs, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
Provides links to presentations given at the Canadian Immunization Conference 2018.
Canadian Immunization Guide Chapter on Influenza and Statement on Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2018–2019
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI): Canadian Immunization Guide Chapter on Influenza and Statement on Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2018–2019 updates NACI’s recommendations regarding the use of seasonal influenza vaccines.
This strategy is grounded in several communications guiding principles: putting the health of Canadians first; providing timely and sound information; communicating in a coordinated fashion from across all levels of government; protecting confidentiality; and monitoring and adapting to the public’s perception of risk. The Annex outlines a risk communications approach, proposes triggers for action based on pandemics of varying impact, and includes a Communication Protocol that will be used countrywide in the event of a pandemic.