Health minister rules out mandatory vaccinations in B.C.

Health minister rules out mandatory vaccinations in B.C.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air and can linger for up to two hours in an enclosed area.

There have been a total of nine reported cases of measles in Vancouver this month, eight of which are connected to the two schools. Its complications include severe diarrhea, pneumonia, blindness, and even death, according to the DOH.

Ontario parents have to provide proof their child has been vaccinated before enrolling them in public school. It can also be fatal.

"For the majority of people who may have been in contact with confirmed cases it is too late to take preventative action and we are asking them to monitor for symptoms", the health authority said in a news release.

If you haven't been fully immunized with two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, you can get innoculated for free at a community health centre or City Centre Urgent Primary Care Centre.

And he added: If "certain states continue down the path that they're on, I think they're going to force the hand of the federal health agencies".

A petition has been signed by more than 30,000 people in the wake of measles outbreaks in Vancouver and Washington state is asking for the same thing.

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Dix said Ontario's system makes it more hard for those eligible for vaccination to miss getting their shots - and he wants to see B.C. with a similar model.

In hopes of reducing the possibility of future outbreaks, lawmakers in Olympia have proposed two measures to tighten the personal or philosophical exemption used to excuse children from vaccines necessary for school entry.

Meanwhile Thursday, a petition calling on the B.C. government to make it mandatory for children attending public schools to be vaccinated - except for medical-based reasons - reached nearly 35,500 signatures on the website change.org.

Almost all states allow children to attend school even if their parents opt out of vaccines.

Adrian Dix says mandatory registrations at schools instead of mandatory vaccinations is the best option moving forward, noting the move will encourage people to inoculate. Melnick says restaurants are still safe for eating because those inspections will still get done, but they could be carried out slower.

A report by the BC Centre for Disease Control entitled "Immunization Uptake in Children by the Seventh Birthday" records the percentage of 7-year-old children in each health authority/region of the province that has received various vaccines. "I think some of the states may need that kind of push".

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