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News release
Oct. 30, 2019

Ontario Medical Association and Ottawa Public Health discuss the importance of childhood vaccinations

Ottawa – At an education session held today at Ottawa City Hall, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and Ottawa Public Health (OPH) discussed the importance of being immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases.

The World Health Organization calls vaccine hesitancy one of the top ten global health threats. Worldwide, there is growing concern about the increasing number of parents who are unsure about the safety of childhood vaccinations.

“On behalf of Ontario’s 31,500 practicing doctors I want to say that vaccines work, vaccines are safe, vaccines are vital to the health and wellbeing of us all, and parents should not be swayed by any information they hear to the contrary,” says Dr. Sohail Gandhi, President, Ontario Medical Association.

Vaccination is one of the most successful interventions in the history of public health. It has led to the elimination and control of dangerous and infectious diseases such as smallpox, polio, diphtheria, measles, and pertussis (whooping cough). Not so many years ago, these diseases caused many Canadian children to become severely ill or even die.

“We know from the data that Ottawa does well when it comes to immunization rates among school-aged children” said Dr. Trevor Arnason, Associate Medical Officer of Health with Ottawa Public Health. “Still, we want to ensure that parents have the information available from a trusted source to make well-informed decisions about vaccination.”

To educate parents, the OMA has launched a multi-channel public relations, social media and advocacy campaign to target the spread of anti-vaccine myths using the hashtag #AskOntarioDoctors. For more information about the campaign or to listen to the podcast or view the fact sheet visit 

About the OMA

The Ontario Medical Association represents Ontario’s 43,000 plus physicians, advocating for and supporting doctors while strengthening the leadership role of doctors in caring for patients.  Our vision is to be the trusted voice in transforming Ontario’s health-care system. 

About OPH

Ottawa Public Health provides public health programs and services to individuals and communities while advocating for public policies that make our city and its residents healthier.


For more information, please contact: 
OMA Media Relations at 416.340.2862 or toll-free at 1.800.268.7215, ext. 2862 


OPH Media Relations at or visit