Health minister rules out mandatory vaccinations in B.C.

Posted February 23, 2019

"You have to go through a registration system", Health Minister Adrian Dix said Thursday.

It is recommended that babies get vaccinated against the disease when they are 12 months old.

The recent outbreak prompted a Lower Mainland mom to resurrect her online petition calling on the B.C. government to make vaccinations mandatory for public school enrollment, with exceptions for those who can not receive vaccinations for medical reasons. Since the 1960s, two doses of the measles vaccine have been given to young children to prevent the disease, which causes symptoms ranging from pneumonia to vision loss, and even death.

A total of 725 people contracted measles in Quebec that year, with 678 cases stemming from one adult who may have contracted the disease while on holiday in the Caribbean or at the Montreal airport.

The Iowa state Senate Tuesday rejected a bill Tuesday that would have prohibited health insurance providers and insurance companies from discriminating against people who refuse to get vaccinated.

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Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash.

Measles can spread through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes.

The U.S.is also experiencing travel-related outbreaks, with 127 cases of measles confirmed in 10 states between January 1 and February 14, with Washington and NY states particularly hard hit by the disease, says a report by the Centers for Disease Control. The measles vaccination can quickly protect an individual as soon as it is administered, keeping them safe from being able to contract the deadly infectious disease.

"For travelers we are recommending that prior to traveling that they're vaccinated for the flu and there is a combination of not only the measles vaccination but also with mumps and rubella", said Denorcey.

The rate of immunization among students at the two Vancouver schools where the outbreak originated has since increased, according to an update earlier this week from Vancouver Coastal Health.

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Clark County is at the center of the state's measles outbreak with 63 reported cases, and outbreaks, which have also appeared elsewhere in the nation, are most prevalent in areas with high concentrations of unvaccinated children.

"We are in a vaccine crisis and this should be a wake-up call for Texans to get serious and demand stronger legislation that reduces the number of parents opting out of vaccinating their children for non-medical reasons", said Allison Winnike, J.D., president and CEO of The Immunization Partnership.

Now, she said, we are in a "waiting game".

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