Keeping up-to-date with your child's vaccinations can be difficult but to be effective all doses must be received on time.
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Sherri Dmyterko: Nicole Nayman is a mother and a passionate advocate for immunization for young children. Today she is being held as a meningitis hero. Ten years after her baby daughter contracted the disease, since then she has traveled across the country advocating to parents the importance of immunization. Nicole Nayman: My daughter Lauren was 19 months old when she contracted Pneumococcal meningitis, and she was hospitalized for 11 days. After the hospital stay she was tested and it was found she was profoundly deaf in both ears. Today she has bilateral cochlear implants, and is able to go to school with her twin sister. Sherri Dmyterko: Nicole's message to all parents is simple, be a meningitis hero for your family by making sure your children's immunizations are up-to-date. The immunization against serious Pneumococcal diseases such as meningitis wasn't around when her daughter got sick. Now that it is, children can be properly vaccinated and families don't have to go through what she did. Nicole Nayman: Not long after Lauren became ill, the Pneumococcal vaccine called Prevnar was introduced in Canada for infants. Today it's funded in all provinces. I can't stress to parents and say the importance of staying on top of vaccination schedules. It's your child's life and nothing could be more precious. Sherri Dmyterko: 90% of parents believe their children are up-to-date for immunization, but in reality only 61% of two year olds have received all of the recommended doses for two of the most common and widely available vaccine. But in order for vaccines to be effective ,all the doses must be received on schedule. One way to keep immunization markers up-to-date is to register your child on the immunization tracker website. Canadaimmunization.com. Doctor Dion Neame is chief of Pediatrics at Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital in Burlington, Ontario. Dion Neame: I encourage parents to be meningitis heroes for their child. to stay up-to-date with their current recommended Prevnar vaccination schedule, to protect their child against serious Pneumococcal diseases such as meningitis. Sherri Dmyterko: To help ensure the health of our children, the next generation of Prevnar is currently in development. When it's approved, it will be the most complete vaccine available, providing even greater coverage against serious Pneumococcal diseases, including meningitis. Sherri Dmyterko reporting.