By Mike Barber, Postmedia News
December 5, 2010
A leading health-policy think-tank is urging Canadian politicians to consider introducing a national immunization registry.
Dr. Cordell Neudorf, a physician and chairman of the Canadian Public Health Association, said creating a registry to track the vaccination history of every Canadian would help make sure as many people as possible are immunized, as well as better co-ordinate a response to a pandemic, such as last year’s H1N1 outbreak.
The proposal is central to this week’s Canadian Immunization Conference, which opened Sunday in Quebec City.
Neudorf said the current mini-outbreaks of whooping cough in remote areas throughout the United States and Canada are an example of how a registry could better serve public health responses.
A five-week-old boy from Stanley Mission, Sask., dies last month from whooping cough.
“With a registry . . . you get a better idea of what coverage rates are in different age groups for the whole population, and certain regions and sub-regions where to focus our efforts,” Neudorf told Postmedia News.
Some cities, such as Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon, already have regional registries in place, which Neudorf said helped those jurisdictions respond to the H1N1 pandemic.
In Saskatoon, where Neudorf practises, the apparatus sends out notices to the public, telling them when they need to be immunized, which has helped raised coverage rates, said Neudorf.
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