One hundred years ago, infectious diseases were the leading cause of death worldwide. In Canada, they now cause less than 5% of all deaths – largely thanks to vaccines. From December 6-8, 2016, stakeholders who contribute to Canada’s vaccination system will gather at the 2016 Canadian Immunization Conference (CIC 2016) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to demonstrate their commitment to immunization as an important public health measure.

Welcome messages

Minister of Health

The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.

As Minister of Health, a physician and mother, I am a strong supporter of vaccination, and the role it plays in preventing illness and protecting each of us throughout our lives.

The 12th Canadian Immunization Conference (CIC 2016) is a unique opportunity for immunization experts and stakeholders to discuss new evidence in vaccine science and share best practices in immunization programs.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is a key partner in delivering this biennial event. I would like to thank the Canadian Public Health Association, the Canadian Association for Immunization Research and Evaluation, and the Canadian Paediatric Society for once again delivering what I expect will be an exceptional event.

While immunization has been proven time and again to be a critical public health tool, there are still those who are not adequately protected. Working together, we can tackle the complex issue of vaccine acceptance and uptake.

The Government of Canada is committed to strengthening immunization programs in Canada. Over the next five years, $25 million will be invested in improving vaccine coverage rates, and addressing vaccine hesitancy. No doubt many of the conversations that take place at CIC 2016 will help move this work forward. We look forward to collaborating with our partners to help make this happen.

We must continue to work together to build on the success of what is the most effective public health tool in modern times. CIC 2016 offers an opportunity to develop new partnerships and strengthen existing ones so that we can collectively continue to move forward in protecting Canadians and others around the world through immunization.

On behalf of the Government of Canada, I thank the many people whose expertise and dedication contribute to making immunization a public health success story. I encourage all participants at CIC 2016 to take advantage of the educational and networking opportunities that this conference has to offer. I wish the 12th Canadian Immunization Conference great success.

The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health

Canadian Association for Immunization Research and Evaluation

Brian Ward, MDCM

On behalf of the Canadian Association for Immunization Research and Evaluation, I look forward to welcoming you to the 12th Canadian Immunization Conference and encourage you to fully participate in the many excellent scientific sessions being organized for this conference.

In particular, specific times are being set aside for oral abstract presentations and poster sessions. These venues are often the first opportunities for research trainees and junior faculty to present and defend their work. The development of the next generation of Canadian vaccine investigators is a core goal shared by CAIRE and the Canadian Immunization Conference. Participants can directly assist in reaching this goal by engaging with and challenging the presenters both during the scheduled sessions and throughout the conference.

CAIRE is pleased to be a collaborator in organizing the Canadian Immunization Conference. This Conference provides an important showcase for Canadian vaccine research. It is vital that immunization programs are built on a foundation of high-quality scientific research and evaluation. CAIRE is particularly proud that the Vaccinology Student Research Program continues to be a major feature of the Conference. This program will provide successful applicants with bursaries to attend the Conference and present their research. The Conference will also provide important opportunities for researchers, policy advisors, public health staff and front-line vaccine practitioners to meet and network “behind the scenes”.

My sincere thanks to the many people who are generously devoting their time and energy to the planning of the conference, the review of abstracts and student proposals, and the conduct of the scientific program. It will be up to you to take full advantage of the learning and networking opportunities at the Conference!

Brian Ward, MDCM
Professor of Medicine and Microbiology
McGill University Health Centre

Canadian Paediatric Society

Jonathan Kronick, MD, PhD, FRCPC

For many years, the Canadian Paediatric Society has been involved in the Canadian Immunization Conference, and each year, we continue to see the importance this conference has on Canada’s public health. It is a great opportunity for the country’s most knowledgeable people to come together and share new research and science in this especially important field.

In an age where parents can access new information at their fingertips, it is our role as health care professionals to ensure they are given the right tools to understand the importance and safety of immunization. The CPS continues to work with its members to ensure that we are educating rather than dismissing those who question the safety and effectiveness of today’s vaccines.

Last year, the CPS published a completely revised edition of Your Child’s Best Shot, the only comprehensive Canadian reference on vaccination specifically for parents. Completely revised and updated, the new edition has a more direct focus on common parental concerns, with information to address vaccine hesitancy.

Infectious diseases were once the leading cause of death in Canada. They now account for less than 5% of deaths, making immunization the most cost-effective and one of the most successful public health efforts of the last century. It is because of health practitioners like you that we are able to keep these numbers down, and immunization rates up.

On behalf of the Canadian Paediatric Society, I look forward to seeing you in December.

Jonathan Kronick, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Canadian Paediatric Society

Canadian Public Health Association

Ardene Robinson Vollman, PhD, RN, CCHN(C)

Immunization can be a highly emotional topic. As a mother, I will always remember being next to my sons when they received their childhood vaccinations. I fully trusted the health professional administering the vaccine, and the immunity it would confer, despite the momentary pain that had to be endured. As a public health nurse, I have vaccinated people of all ages; these experiences have shaped how I identify with immunization. Immunization has the power not only to protect me, but also to protect those I care about – my friends, my family, children and grandchildren – and the community in which I live.

It is an honour to participate at the 2016 Canadian Immunization Conference. The Conference has been taking place every two years since 1994 in cities across the country. Over the years it has grown in scale and has a reputation as the meeting place for everyone involved in immunization. It is a place where both the budding and leading members of the immunization community come together and share the latest advances in research and knowledge in the field.

The 12th Canadian Immunization Conference promises to be one of the brightest and best. The plenary sessions, planned sessions, workshops, abstracts and posters will feature talented speakers from across the country and abroad. Innovative technology will be on display in the exhibit hall. You don’t want to miss it!

Thanks to the members of the organizing and scientific committees for the countless hours they have devoted to ensure another successful Conference. I am also grateful for the immense support we have received from our collaborators and industry sponsors.

Thank you for your interest in the 2016 Canadian Immunization Conference. I encourage you to participate fully in everything the Conference has to offer.

Ardene Robinson Vollman, PhD, RN, CCHN(C)
Chair, Canadian Public Health Association

Chief Public Health Officer of Canada

Dr. Gregory Taylor

Immunization is a cornerstone of public health. The 2016 Canadian Immunization Conference (CIC 2016) provides a much-anticipated forum for health care professionals, researchers, students, and other stakeholders to share expertise. It is my hope that the Conference’s outstanding program will inspire innovative discussions and encourage collaboration to help guide Canada’s immunization research, policies and programs.

Immunization plays a crucial role in preventing the spread of infectious diseases, and maintaining the health of our families and communities. Vaccines remain one of the safest, most cost-effective public health interventions available around the world.

Most Canadians understand and accept the value of vaccines, but we also know that not all Canadians get immunized. Recent evidence shows 23% of children had not received the full four recommended doses of the diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus vaccine by age two. And the 2014 Adult National Immunization Coverage Survey tells us that while most individuals believed that they received all vaccines required for someone their age, less than 10% were up-to-date on their adult immunizations.

Identifying the reasons why some Canadians accept or refuse vaccines is essential to developing and implementing effective immunization strategies and programs.

This Conference allows us to come together to share expertise and perspectives on how to address today’s most pressing immunization challenges. At the same time, it offers an opportunity to share best practices to help sustain immunization efforts to protect the health of Canadians.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is pleased to once again support this important forum. I would like to acknowledge the leadership of the Canadian Public Health Association for organizing this year’s conference, and the on-going support and collaboration from the Canadian Association for Immunization Research and Evaluation and Canadian Paediatric Society.

I also extend my thanks to each participant for your commitment and individual contributions to help advance immunization as an important public health measure.

Over the past 23 years, the Canadian Immunization Conference has been the foundation of many enduring partnerships and has made all of our work stronger. By working in partnership we can contribute to better immunization rates and stronger immunization programs in Canada. I look forward to your attendance and wish you all a successful and productive conference.

Dr. Gregory Taylor
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada