National Immunization Awareness Week (NIAW), celebrated each year during the last week of April, highlights and recognizes the importance, safety and effectiveness of vaccines. NIAW 2023 is an opportunity for us to reflect on improvements in people’s health and quality of life over the last century and more as a result of widespread vaccination.

A century ago, vaccine preventable diseases, like diphtheria and whooping cough, were among the leading causes of death in Canada and abroad. Thanks to the hard work and innovation that has gone into vaccine development, the establishment of strong vaccination programming, and the dedication of people across Canada who continue to make sure their vaccinations are up to date, many people in Canada have grown up without fear of these diseases.

By continuing to stay up to date with our vaccines, we can help keep ourselves and our communities safe and healthy. There’s strength (and health) in numbers, especially when it comes to vaccination.

The Public Health Agency of Canada published updated immunization guides for parents, adults and teenagers in March 2023. These plain language resources explain the importance of vaccination for different age groups and include information on vaccine safety and what to expect at your vaccination appointments.