What Is the Difference Between Immunization and Vaccination?

The terms immunization, vaccination, and inoculation are often used interchangeably. But they have different meanings.

Those differences may seem minor. Still, using terms correctly can prevent misunderstandings with your healthcare provider.

This article explains the differences, what vaccines do, and why their timing is important.

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KEY POINTS

  • Black people in Canada are at high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infections, hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths, yet may be more hesitant to receive the vaccine than other Canadians.

  • Vaccine hesitancy in Black communities is not merely because of misinformation or gaps in health literacy; it is linked to medical distrust and structural racism.

  • Afrocentric health promotion and counselling approaches that are centred on respecting patients’ values and perspectives have been used effectively to improve uptake of both influenza and SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in Black populations in Canada.

  • The LEAPS of care communication framework (Listen and Learn, Empower and Engage, Ask and Acknowledge, Paraphrase and Provide, Support and Spark) can help clinicians bridge barriers to improve vaccine uptake in Black patients who are hesitant about receiving vaccines.

  • Black-led partnerships between health care and stakeholders with existing trusted relationships in the community can confront anti-Black racism and improve outreach to increase confidence in SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in Black communities.

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