Mr. Speaker, the low uptake of the vaccine among pregnant women today in Manitoba is a tremendous concern. Six per cent of deaths in the U.S. have been among expectant women, who make up a tiny percentage of the population.
Confusion also led to the initial ambivalence about the vaccine. When federal officials declared that Canada was in its second wave of the H1N1 pandemic, a poll revealed that almost half of Canadians did not plan on getting the vaccine created to stop it.
Simply having the vaccine is not enough to have a successful program. As a result, the minister and Dr. Butler-Jones were then forced to make a plea to Canadians. There is a very real risk of the flu. Even in its mildest form it is miserable, and at its worst it kills. The choice is simple: a safe and effective preventive vaccine, or a very real risk of disease. This message, the real facts about immunization, needed to be given during the summer.
I call on the government to increase its efforts in order to achieve the target of greater vaccination come January.