A report done by Alberta Health Services back in 2014 received some local attention on social media recently, due to some unknown concern that Lacombe made the list.

It said Lacombe is among other communities in the country that are vulnerable to preventable diseases.

According to the AHS presentation, those communities included the Lacombe, Rimbey, Red Deer as well as Lethbridge-areas.

Dr Ifeoma Achebe, Medial Officer of Health for the Central Zone says that this information is still accurate, and will continue to stay this way until more people get vaccinated.

“The immunization rate in Central Zone is low, I wish we could get it higher, for us to have what we call 'herd-immunity,' 85-95% of the community needs to be immunized.”

On the Alberta Health website, it shows the area is as low as 68.24% for certain doses of vaccines.

“Some people believe that it doesn’t work, it’s going to make their kids sicker,” which she says facts and numbers show otherwise. 

Dr. Achebe says social media can also stir up negative reactions on topics that may not be accurate.  

“There’s a lot of information out there that just makes it confusing, and parents just want the best for their kids.”

However, she explains that not vaccinating could be posing an even greater risk.

“The risk of something like an adverse reaction is very, very slim and is not enough reason to say 'I’m not going to immunize my child.”

Dr. Achebe says the reasons why immunization rates are low in the region are complex and says sometimes religious and cultural beliefs may play a role.

 

2019 04 09 AHS

 

 

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