“We’re open to it.”
That from BC’s Health Minister, as Canadian doctors call on governments to give schools authorization to require parents to hand over proof their kids are immunized.
“It’s really helpful information for school personnel and for public health obviously if there is an outbreak. But I think that is something I’d be interested in discussing with the Minister of Education, because I certainly see the value in providing that information to the school.”
Health Minister Terry Lake says right now officials recommend parents provide immunization records at Kindergarten/grade 1 entry, but it’s not a requirement.
“When we have an outbreak, let’s say of measles as we had a couple of years ago in the Fraser Valley, it’s really important to know who is protected and who isn’t. Medical health officers do have the power to ask children to remain at home during an outbreak if they are not vaccinated, and of course if we can access that information more quickly, that makes that process go faster, and fewer children would then be exposed.”
Doctors in favour of it
The Canadian Medical Association passed the resolution at its AGM, but stopped short of advocating for mandatory vaccines.
Dr. Lloyd Oppel with Doctors of BC voted in favour of the resolution.
“There are still some children who unfortunately do not get the full schedule of immunization. School is a place where kids, as well as their parents, can get information about the benefits of getting childhood vaccines.”
Ontario and New Brunswick are the only provinces that currently require immunization records when a child is being registered for school.
In BC, it’s only a request.