Written by By Phoebe Connelly , CNN Written by Jillian Bowe, CNN
More than 1.6 million children have been vaccinated against childhood diseases in Toronto this year, up slightly from the same time in 2017.
In the first three months of 2018, the city declared itself to be immunization compliant with a target of 92% of all children, meaning more than 90% of elementary school students have been fully vaccinated and are able to enroll in school. The 90% threshold refers to a set of recommendations from the Canadian Association of Medical Officers of Health (CAMHO) and is used as a baseline, with a drop in the vaccination rate below 90% in cases of public health threat or in areas lacking coverage.
“We’re pleased that the vast majority of children are fully vaccinated in Toronto. It demonstrates parents’ and children’s commitment to getting the shots they need and protects all of Toronto’s children from harmful infectious diseases,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory, in a statement.
Of the 2.3 million residents in Toronto — almost the same as Houston — medical staff top the list of the most vaccinated employees. The city has a 92% immunization rate overall for immunized employees; the corporate level includes five organizations with a vaccination rate above 90% and 65 organizations where the level is above the provincial standard of 90%. Health centers, universities and public schools require a number of different vaccination levels to be in compliance with the CAMHO standards.
In the Canada’s largest city, where the child immunization rate is the highest in North America, CDC immunization registrar Mary Lea told CNN she saw a need for a tool that would track immunization compliance to track changes in the immunization coverage rate at various geographic location.
To start, Vaccination Compliance.ca launched the Ontario Network of Immunization Compliance Clusters in August. The website, which is currently being piloted in Toronto and Cambridge, Ontario, is an online tool to help parents and guardians find the immunization rates for their area.
“The idea is to help parents and guardians navigate the data and discover whether their communities are doing well or not,” Lea said.
Toronto has recently had a vaccination rate of 94.3% for school-aged children. Toronto plans to release results for the first three months of 2018 toward the end of this month.