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Active Living
Full Listing with story descriptions
A Healthy Balance
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Active Kids, Healthy Kids
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Beat the Heat!
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Exercise is Medicine
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From Surviving to Thriving
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Live Actively
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Prehistoric Workout
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7 Wonders of Walking
Adolescent Health
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Acne
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Chronic Diseases in Teens
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Junior High
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Your First Job
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Childbirth
Full Listing with story descriptions
Advice from the Maternity Clinic
Advice from the Maternity Clinic (Part 2)
Alcohol in Pregnancy
Building a Better Baby
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Birthing Procedure Trends
Bleeding in Pregnancy
Breastfeeding Benefits
Caesarean Section by Request
Care for the New Mother
Cord Blood Banking
Delaying Motherhood
Blue after Baby or Postpartum Depression
Diabetes in Pregnancy
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Evolving Ideas about Pregnancy and Birth
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Folic Acid in Pregnancy
High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy
Getting a latch on breastfeeding
Group B Streptococcus
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In-Vitro Fertilization
Low Birth Weight Babies
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Postpartum Repetitive Strain Injuries
RH Disease
Rupture of Membranes Before Labour
Sex During Pregnancy
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Smoking and Pregnancy
Support During Labour
Travelling While Pregnant
Ultrasound for Fun & Photos
Natural Remedies in Pregnancy
Vaccinations During Pregnancy
Vacuum & Forceps for Delivery
Vaginal Birth After Caesarean
When Baby Comes Home
Childhood
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Asthma in Children
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How Children Grow
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Heart Murmers
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Children and Sports Injuries
Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)
Learning Disabilities
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Not Just Baby Fat
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Preparing for Lab Tests
Recognizing Learning Disabilities
Red Rashes
RSV-Childhood Respiratory Virus
Safe Summer Fun
School
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Sick Toddler
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Sniffles, Fevers, Rashes & Coughs
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Vaccinations
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When to go to the Doctor
Whooping Cough
Worried Sick
Yeast Infections in Children
Chronic Pain
Full Listing with story descriptions
Introduction
Managing Your Pain
Movement Matters
Moving Forward
Nutrition
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Pacing
Pain Medications
Prevention
Returning to Work
Understanding and Goal Setting
When Pain Doesn't End
Dental Health
Full Listing with story descriptions
Antibiotics and Dental Surgery
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Baby Teeth
Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Children's Dental Injuries
Choosing a Dentist
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Headaches
A Healthy Mouth
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Painless Dentistry
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Root Canal
Seniors Oral Care
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The Smile You Want
Sore Mouth, Aching Jaw
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Smiling through the Senior Years
Teeth for Life
Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
Tobacco Risks to Oral Health
Tongue Piercing
Tooth Whitening
Travel Dentistry
Water Fluoridation
Wisdom Teeth
Your Healthy Smile
DIABETES
Full Listing with story descriptions
10,000 Steps
A1C Test
Accurate Blood Glucose Testing
Alchohol and Diabetes
A Diabetes Success Story
ABCs of Diabetes Management
Alternate Site Testing
Artery Health
ASA Therapy
Benefits of Insulin
Benefits of Breakfast
Blood Glucose Medications
Blood Glucose Myths
Blood Glucose Testing
Blood Glucose Testing Tips
Blood Sugar Lows
Blood Glucose Monitors
C-Peptide Testing
Canada Food Guide Revisited
Carbohydrate Counting
Catastrophic Drug Plan
CDA Guidelines for Diabetes
Celiac Disease and Diabetes
Celebrating Health
Childhood Diagnosis of Diabetes
Children and Type 2 Diabetes
Cholesterol-lowering Medications
Colds and Diabetes
Constipation
Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring
Cutting Edge
Dangers of Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure
Debunking Diabetes Myths
Driving and Diabetes
Diabetes and Menopause
Diabetes and OTC Medications
Diabetes Care Team
Diabetes and Celiac
Diabetes and Depression
Diabetes Diet
Diabetes Distress
Diabetes Eating on a Shoestring Budget
Diabetes Etiquette
Diabetes and Oral Health
Diabetes and Thyroid Disease
Diabetes and Your Mouth
Diabetes and Your Eyes
Diabetes in Cats
Diabetes in Dogs
Diabetes Management ABCs
Diabetes Meter Technicians
Diabetes Myths
Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic Retinopathy
Diet Tips for South Asians
Dining Out
Drinking and Diabetes
The Discovery of Insulin
Eating Disorders
Easing the Strain of Stress
Eating to Protect Your Kidneys
Eating Well During Shift Work
Eggs in a Diabetic Diet
Emotional Eating
Emotions of Diabetes Diagnosis
Erectile Dysfunction
Exercise Excuses
Why Fad Diets Fail
Fats
Fibre
Fill Your Day with Energy
Financial Support for Diabetes
Food Temptation
Foot Care
Footwear and Foot Health
Fruits and Veggies
Gastroparesis
Gestational Diabetes
Get Active
Get Physical
Gift Ideas
Glucose Meters
Glycemic Index and Glycemic Loads
The Glycemic Index
Going Green in the Kitchen
Grocery Shopping Tips
Guidelines for Diabetes Management
Holiday Party Survival Guide
Health Information on the 'Net
Healthy Happy Holidays
Healthy Beverage Choices
Health Benefits of Soy
Healthy Restaurant Meals
High Blood Pressure and Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
HbA1c Test
Healthy Eating for Active People
High Blood Lipids
Home from the Hospital
Home Alone and Sick
Hypoglycemic Unawareness
Impaired Glucose Tolerance
Immunization & Diabetes
Incretins-a Hormone Treatment
Injecting Insulin
Insulin Discovery-The Story
Insulin
Insulin Handling
Insulin - the Key to Energy Management
Insulin Pumps
Insulin Pen Needles
Insulin Pump Infusion Sets
Insulin Pump Therapy
Immunization and Diabetes
Internet Health Sites
Islet Cell Transplantation
Insurance
Ketones
Kidney Disease - Reducing the Risk
Living with Diagnosis of Diabetes
Living Powerfully with Diabetes
Low Blood Glucose
Managing Diabetes
Managing Blood Glucose
Metformin
Nutrition Food Labels
Meal Planning
Your Medication Expert
Medication Research Studies
Metabolic Syndrome
Microalbuminuria
New Diabetes Technologies
Natural Medicines and Diabetes
No Need for Insulin?
Not Snoozing
Over-the-Counter Medications
Oral Health and Diabetes
Osteoporosis and Diabetes
Diabetes and OTC Medications
Pedicure Precautions
Peripheral Arterial Disease
Pet Diabetes
Planning for Pregnancy
Prebiotics and Probiotics
Preparing for Activity
Putting off Insulin
Reducing Stress of Surgery
Safe and Successful Travel
Schizophrenia and Diabetes
Sensible Snacking
Setting Health Goals
Setting Goals for Physical Activity
Sharps Disposal
Shorter Insulin Needles
Sleep - a Missing Link
Smart Snacking
Smart Summer Nutrition
Snack Bars
Snacking with Diabetes
Sodium
Social Media & Diabetes
Solving the Insurance Puzzle
Stress and Diabetes
Success in School
Supplements
Supporting Spouse with Diabetes
Sweeteners
Sugar, Carbs and Blood Glucose Control
Think Positive with Diabetes
Tiny Bites Equal Big Calories
Travelling with Diabetes
Tips for a Better You
Tobacco Use and Diabetes
Top 10 Reasons to Exercise
Treating Low Blood Glucose
Treating Hypoglycemia - Role of Glucagon
Tune up Your Diet
Type 1.5 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
Understanding Diabetes
Understanding Diabetes Medications
Understanding Ketones
Used Sharps
Urinary Incontinence
Vacationing with Diabetes
Vegetarian Eating for Diabetes
Vitamin D
Walking
Wise Choices About Natural Medicines
Wonderful Water
Natural Medicines & Diabetes
World Diabetes Day
Your Medicine Cupboard
Zimbabwe Hand Jive
Family Medicine
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ADHD in Children
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Allergies
Antibiotic Use
Arthritis
Aspirin Every Day?
Asthma
Back Pain
Back Pain Myths
Back Pain - Lower
Birth Control
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Check-Up
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Contact Lenses
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Cost of Doctor's Visit
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Doctor Visit
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Family Doctor
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Food Poisoning
5 Ways to Stay Healthy
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Get Active!
Glare
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Human Papilloma Virus
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How to Talk to Your Doctor
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Opioid Myths
Primary Healthcare Reform
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Stroke
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Vaccination Controversies (ask the doctor)
Win by Losing
Urinary Tract Infections
Vision Flickers
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Full Listing with story descriptions
Bites and Stings
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First Aid Travel Kit
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Get Active!
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Have Health, Will Travel
Health Tips for Seniors
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Living Longer With Diabetes
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Maintaining Quality of Life as You Age
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Travel Tips for Snowbirds
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Modern Living
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Abuse
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Aging and Memory
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Barbecue Basics
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Bisphenol A
Canada's New Blood System
Caring for a Loved One Dying at Home
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Computer Stress
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Diabetes Epidemic
Discipline
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Flu Pandemic
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Mature Student
Melamine in Food
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Mom Time
Money Matters
Outdoor Workers and Sun Safety
Patient Safety in the Hospital
Pets and Health Benefits
Pet Therapy
Physiotherapy Visit
Planning for End of LIfe
Reproductive Freedom
Safe Drinking Water
Schizophrenia
Smokeless Tobacco
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Soy
Stigma of Mental Illness
Street Drugs
Stressed or Depressed?
Stress in the Workplace
Stress Leave
Swim to Survive
Sunburn
Time Management
Travel Health Protection
Travel Comfort Tips
Travel Immunization
Understanding Change
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Whiplash
Wind Chill Index
Workplace Drug Testing
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Nutrition
Full Listing with story descriptions
5 Tips to Manage Weight
10 Ways to Cut Down on Fat
Battle the Bulge
Boost Your Bone Strength
Body Image
Breakfast is Important
Bowel Health
Building Your Bones
Celiac Disease
Challenging the Milk Myth
Diet Reality Check
Drink Up!
Eating Smarter & Cheaper
Energy Drinks
Food Allergies
Food for Active Kids
Fast Food
Food Labels
Giving Up Gluten
Healthy Diet, Healthy Smile
Healthy Eating for Boomers and Zoomers
Healthy Eating for Seniors
Healthy Eating on Business Travel
Healthy Ethnic Meals
Fad Diets
Fruits & Veggies - 5-10 a Day
Fats
Fat Phobias
Fats & Cholesterol
Feeding Your Kids
Fibre
Food Chemistry 101
Food and Mood
Getting Kids to MOVE
Healthy Eating for Teens
Healthy Habits
Herbal Medicine and Nutrition
New Ingredients for Your Shopping Cart
Iron
Kid's Food
Liquid Candy
Meal Planning with Planned Overs
Mercury Levels in Fish
Night Snacking
Night Shift Eating
Nutrition on the Net
Nutrition Myths Busted
Nutrition Questions Top 5
Nutrition for Menopause
Essential Omega-3
Preventing Cancer Through Nutrition
Picky Eaters
Power of Fruits & Veggies
Portion Control
Power Lunch
PMS and Nutrition
Preparing for Surgery
Probiotics
Reducing High Blood Pressure
Replacement Meals
Sensible Snacking
Sodium
Sodium and Blood Pressure
Sports-Minded Nutrition
Sugar Substitutes
Survive and Thrive
Teen Nutrition
Tips for a SuperDiet
Understanding Food Biotechnology
Vacation Eating
Vitamins D
Vitamins and Minerals
Vegetarian Diet
Weight Loss
Weight Wise Tips
Pharmacy Care
Full Listing with story descriptions
After a Heart Attack
Adverse Drug Reactions
Adult Vaccinations
Allergy Attack
Antibiotic Overuse
New Anticoagulant Medications
Inhaled Asthma medications
Arthritis Medications
Biologics
Biological Response Modifiers
Blood Pressure Monitoring
Blood Thinners
Calcium and Iron Supplements
Changing Role of the Pharmacist
Children's Cold Remedies
Child's Fever
Choosing Sunscreens
Cold Relief
Cold Sores
Constipation and Haemorrhoids
Diuretics and Potassium Supplements
Drug Recalls and Withdrawals
Drug Interactions
Emergency Contraception
Erectile Dysfunction
Expanding Role of Pharmacies
Eye Protection - Sunglasses
Feminine Hygiene
Generic or Name Brand?
Heartburn
Heart Health
Insomnia
Kids and Cold Medications
Medication Questions?
Metabolic Syndrome
Natural Medicines
New Blood Thinners
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Obesity Medication
Over-the-Counter Drugs
Over-the-Counter Drugs and Pregnancy
OTC Pain Relief
Packing Medications for Travel
Pharmaceutical Studies
Preventing Summer Hazards
Research Studies
Quit Smoking
Skin and Cosmeceuticals
Sports & Nutrition Supplements
Sunscreen
Taking Medication
Take as Directed
Using Antibiotics Wisely
Viagra
Vitamin D
Yeast Infections
Your Best Shot
Your Medicine Cupboard
Prevention
Full Listing with story descriptions
Accident Prevention
Alcohol
Antibiotic Resistance
Backpack Pain
Bacteria Fight Back
Bedbugs
Disaster Planning
Diseases from Pets
Caffeine
Cell Phones and Driving
Childhood Obesity
Cancer Prevention Tips
Chronic Disease Prevention
Cold and Flu Season
Disaster Planning
Diseases from Pets
Distracted Driving
Farm Safety for City Kids
Foodborne Illness
Flu Pandemic
The Flu and You
Heading Home for a Visit
Health Tips for Snowbirds
Hearing Loss and Music Players
H1N1 Virus - Plan Ahead
Household Mould
Infection Control
Injury Prevention
Live Actively!
Insect Repellant
Keys to Preventing Cancer
Kids' Mental Health
Live Actively!
Low Birth Weight
Meningitis
Norovirus
Are Pesticides Safe?
Preventing Burns and Scalds
Preventing Cancer through Nutrition
Quit Smoking 101
Respiratory Infections
Seniors and STIs
Should You Immunize?
Sun Safety
Surviving Disaster
Sushi Preparation
Teens, Drugs and Driving
Travel Health Considerations
Travel Medicine 101
Travel Tips
Type 2 Diabetes Prevention
Water Smarts
Vision Damage
Water Wisdom
West Nile Disease
Whooping Cough
Workplace Alcohol Abuse
Women's Health
Full Listing with story descriptions
15 Great Reasons to Breastfeed
Anemia
Approaching Menopause
Birth Control
Breast Cancer Screening
Breast Cancer - Genetic Risks
Breast Cancer Self-Exam
Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Changes
Breast Health
Breastfeeding Myths
Cervical Cancer Screening
Contraception
Contraception for Mature Women
Cosmetic Procedures
Cystitis
Endometriosis
Estrogen's Effect on the Brain
Fear of Fracture
Fibroids
Heart Attack
Hirsutism - Unwanted Hair
Hormone Replacement Therapy
The IUD
Menopause - What Men Should Know
Menstrual Bleeding - Abnormal
Menstrual Bleeding - Heavy
Menopause
Menstruation Myths
Menstrual Pain
Third Generation Birth Control Pills
Osteoporosis
Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian Cysts
Oral Contraction (The Pill)
Pap Test
Premenstrual Syndrome
xx
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Urinary Incontinence
Vaginitis
Varicose Veins
Viagra for Women
Yeast Infections
Your Pelvic Floor
Family Health Online / Pharmacy at Safeway
Family Health Magazine - ACTIVE LIVING

Immunizations
Recent Developments

In the last century, children often died from illnesses that could not be prevented. Even early in this century, diseases that now can be prevented, were responsible for many children dying young. Each time a vaccine is discovered that will prevent a disease, more children's lives can be saved. Vaccination is a fact of life that we often take for granted, yet it has changed the health of the world.

The process of vaccination to prevent illness is called immunization. Canada's immunization programs compare well with those of other countries but many infections continue to threaten our health. As new vaccines are developed, our ability to protect our health gets better. This article will describe some important developments in immunization.

Whooping Cough

Pertussis, commonly called "whooping cough," causes an illness with severe coughing. Infants and children may have trouble breathing, eating and drinking because of the coughing. The illness may last for weeks and may lead to pneumonia, convulsions and even death. The goal of the per-tussis immunization program is to vaccinate at least 95 per cent of children.

Recently, a new vaccine was licensed for use in Canada. It is not only thought to be better at preventing whooping cough than the older one, but also causes fewer side effects. This is really good news, because many people were choosing not to be immunized for fear of the side-effects of the old vaccine. The low immunization rate resulted in periodic outbreaks of pertussis. These "acellular" vaccines are not really new. They have been used in Japan for 15 years but only recently licensed in Canada for use in infants. The vaccine is given in combination with other childhood vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine.

Redness, soreness and swelling at the injection site are much less common with acellular vaccine than with the old "whole-cell" vaccine. Fever, irritability, drowsiness, persistent crying, limpness and convulsions are also less. Fever after the acellular vaccine is so uncommon that routine use of acetaminophen (Tylenol™) after getting the shot is no longer recommended for most children.

Some older children and adults did not receive the five recommended doses of pertussis vaccine because they had reactions to it. It was thought that the negative side effects outweighed the benefit. With so few side-effects from the new vaccine, studies are underway to learn if these people should be immunized. They would not get the illness, and also not be at risk of passing it on to infants and young children in whom the illness can be very serious. The only people who should still not be vaccinated are those who had severe allergic reactions to it the first time. Anyone else who did not complete the immunization should consult a doctor or public health unit about receiving the acellular vaccine.

Hepatitis A and B

Hepatitis A and B are both viruses that can cause inflammation of the liver (hepatitis, "yellow jaundice"). The hepatitis A virus (HAV) is spread through contaminated food and water. Hepatitis B (HBV) is spread through infected blood or body fluids such as semen. It can be transmitted sexually, or during pregnancy from mother to baby, often during the birth process. HBV is a more serious infection than HAV because it can become a chronic infection, causing liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and even death.

A Canadian goal has been set to reduce the amount of HBV in children and young adults by 90 per cent by the year 2015. This goal can be achieved through a three-dose series of immunizations given to infants or school-aged children (Grades 3-7). Although it is recommended that most Canadian children be immunized against HBV, the age at which it is given varies across provinces and territories.

Hepatitis A immunization is recommended for:

  • children and adults at increased risk of getting or spreading hepatitis infections. This includes people who live in or travel to areas where hepatitis infection is common. These are some isolated North American communi-ties, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Asia, Africa and southern or eastern Europe. People who often receive blood products should receive the vaccine. Another group who should are those whose lifestyle puts them at risk for hepatitis, such as intravenous drug users, sex-trade workers, and some gay men.
  • children and adults at increased risk of life-threatening disease if they become infected. This includes people with chronic liver disease.

Hepatitis A and B vaccines are effective in protect-ing against these two types of hepatitis. The length of time hepatitis A vaccine protects is not known yet, but it is expected to work for as long as 20 years. Hepatitis vaccines are among the safest of vaccines. Their side-effects and bad reactions include mild, brief tenderness, redness and swelling at the injection site. These reactions are more common in adults than in children.

Pneumococcal Vaccines

The pneumococcus bacteria can cause bacteremia (a serious infection of the blood), meningitis (a life-threatening infection of the covering of the brain) and several respiratory infections, including pneumonia. A vaccine is available that pro-tects against 23 pneumococcus bacteria. Currently it is being offered to selected groups across Canada. Those who should receive the vaccine are similar to those who should get the flu vaccine. They include people:

  • aged 65 years or older.
  • in chronic care institutions.
  • with disorders of the immune system, includ-ing HIV/AIDS, problems with the spleen, and organ transplants.
  • with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart, lung, kidney and liver diseases, alcoholism, blood-cell disorders (sickle-cell disease, chronic anemia), and some cancers (lym-phoma, leukemia, Hodgkin's disease).
  • with chronic leaks of cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid around the brain and spinal cord).

The vaccine can be given to anyone over the age of two. Unlike the flu shot, which is given every fall, the pneumococcal vaccine is given less often (usually just once), and in many cases, protects for life. The exact recommendation depends on your reason for immunization and also varies among provinces and territories. As with other vaccines, side-effects of this one include mild soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site.
A new pneumococcal vaccine, called a conjugated vaccine, has just been licensed. It protects against 7 types of pneumococcus and can be given to children under two years of age. It is likely that this vaccine will soon become part of routine childhood vaccination programs.

Strains of bacteria that resist antibiotics are becoming more common. The problem is most serious in hospitals. The pneumococcal vaccine helps to prevent these strains developing because most people who are immunized will not need antibiotics to fight the bacteria. The bacteria do not become exposed to antibiotics, and do not get the chance to develop ways of defeating the drugs.

Meningococcal Vaccines

Neisseria meningitidis or meningococcus is the common cause of meningitis and serious blood infections in children and teenagers. Recent out-breaks of this infection across North America have required mass vaccination to control the spread of disease.

The old vaccine was not effective in young children but a new conjugated vaccine has been released which can be given to young children and infants. This is another vaccine which may be incorporated into routine vaccination schedules.

Immunization is an important part of basic health care. If you have fears or questions about any vaccines, talk to your doctor. The chances are high that you will receive the information and reassurance you need.

FAMILY HEALTH is written with the assistance of
College of Family Physicans of Canada
Alberta College of Family Physicians
FAMILY HEALTH is written
with the assistance of
The College of Family Physicans of Canada
Alberta College of Family Physicians
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