Equity Aspects of Canadian Immunization Programs: Differences within and between countries

Mirella Veras, David Zakus


There is a global recognition that immunization is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions which should be available to everyone.  The equity approach to immunization provides a holistic and integrated framework for addressing inequalities and disproportions in the realization of human rights. The aim of this study is to review the performance of the immunization programs in Canada through an equity lens using two analytical frameworks for immunization programs. It focuses on four elements of the programs: a) the burden of disease; b) immunization strategy; c) ability to evaluate; and d) research questions.  To achieve universal access to vaccination, Canada should have a strong connection with human rights, where realities and outreach need to be prioritized. Preventable diseases such as influenza, H1N1, and varicella have been reported specifically in Aboriginal Canadians, immigrants and refugees. Our study seeks to demonstrate that access to vaccines should be considered one of the most vital human rights and as a matter of fundamental intervention to achieve health equity.


immunization; population; canada; human rights; community health; health policy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/hcs.2011.45


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