Kids Come First pilots vaccination campaign to help kids and youth in eastern Ontario catch up on routine immunizations.
June 6, 2023 – Ottawa (ON) – The Kids Come First Health Team is piloting a new immunization campaign to make it easier for families in the region to catch up on their children’s routine vaccines. With outbreaks of measles and polio occurring in North America and Europe, this crucial pilot aims to tackle the current backlog of vaccinations experienced during the pandemic. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa alone, it is estimated that children and youth have missed 40,000 doses of childhood vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, polio, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough).
“During the pandemic, CHEO experienced the first chicken pox outbreak in recent memory,” says Alex Munter, CHEO President and CEO. “With the help of the Kids Come First partners, we hope families who don’t have access to a health provider can easily get their children up to date on their routine vaccines, which is so important in protecting their health.”
The Kids Come First Health Team is a partnership of more than 60 organizations, physicians, and family and youth partners across eastern Ontario to better connect kids and families with the care they need.
“Healthy families are our goal. Kids Come First is working to make sure that all children and teens in the region have easy access to their routine vaccinations,” adds Dr. Lee Donohue, family physician and member of the Kids Come First Health Team since 2020. “This is what Kids Come First is about. Improving access for families and anyone who may not have a family physician or community pediatrician or primary health care nurse practitioner."
The pilot campaign will focus on families who don’t have access to a primary care provider. Families can book their appointment through the following partners:
Centretown Community Health Centre
ConnectWell Community Health
East Ottawa Kids Care Clinic
Eastern Ontario Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
Ottawa Public Health
Rainbow Valley Community Health Centre
Renfrew County and District Health Unit
Somerset West Community Health Centre
South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre
“We are excited to join Kids Come First in Renfrew and Lanark Counties,” adds Brenda Powers-Ross, Director, Renfrew County Sites, ConnectWell Community Health. “This program is important to provide access to families in rural communities to catch up on any immunizations while reducing the need to travel.”
To support the implementation of the campaign, Kids Come First has also partnered with CANImmunize to facilitate booking and administration of the vaccines by using the Clinic Flow app.
The CANImmunize app is also recommended to help track vaccinations and get key reminders.
Learn more about the Kids Come First: Vaccinate and Up to Date Campaign here.
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