The province of B.C. is launching an immunization catch-up program for students from K to 12. Docotrs are also advising adults to make sure they are up to date.

Immunization catch up program launching

Kimberley schools sending information to parents

The province of British Columbia is starting a measles immunization catch up program. The program will run from now until June to allow children from K to 12 who are not up to date for measles vaccinations to get their immunizations. Kimberley schools have been sending information packages to parents this week.

According to the Ministry of Health communications team, the next step after the catch-up program is mandatory reporting of immunization status. That will begin in September.

However, this is not mandatory immunization.

Health Minister Dix recently said that “Some provinces have mandatory reporting of immunization status as part of the requirements for children and adolescents to attend school. This is seen in Ontario and New Brunswick.

“We are following the advice of our Provincial Health Officer who agrees with the advice the former PHO offered to the previous government to implement a mandatory registration system similar to what you see in other provinces. Details of the program will be announced in the future.”

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is working on recommendations around vaccinations, but is not entirely endorsing mandatory immunizations.

““Immunization is not strictly mandatory in any jurisdiction in Canada,” she said. “Mandatory immunization would mean that children who are not immunized would not be able to attend school at all. Evidence has shown that has downstream adverse effects on children and is likely against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“My recommendation for B.C. is for a model that allows for a formal process which parents must go through to register a medical contraindication or an objection based on personal belief. There are consequences, like excluding unimmunized children from school if there is an outbreak.

“I am working with experts from the Ministry of Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control. We will be consulting with partners across and outside government, including the Ministry of Education, the BC Pharmacy Association, Doctors of BC and education stakeholders to plan and implement a program that is tailored to B.C. – a balanced approach that allows us to raise immunization rates and address parents’ concerns, but will also ensure children are not negatively impacted and prohibited from attending school because of their parents’ decision. The details of the B.C. program will be announced in the coming months.

“My suggestion for parents now is to check your children’s immunization records to ensure they are up-to-date. Check with your public health office or family doctor for immunization records if you do not have them. Keep your records handy, so they are available to your local health unit for entry into the provincial immunization registry.”

Meanwhile, it’s not just children who should have up to date immunizations. Doctors at the Kimberley medical clinic are urging adult patients to check their immunization records and arrange for booster shots if they are not up to date.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Farm life: lessons learned while working from home

It’s important to slow down, be kind to one another, and enjoy the little moments in life

SD6 expects 50 to 60 per cent of students back on June 1 on a part time basis

School District No. 6, which includes the Kimberley Zone, is going ahead… Continue reading

Outdoors Open House for Central and Watkins project in Kimberley

A socally distant opportunity to find out more about the townhome project

Angel Flight takes to the skies once more

Angel Flight East Kootenay is once again offering free flights to Kelowna for medical appointments

East Kootenay snow packs still moderately high

EK snow packs at 114 per cent of normal

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read