No matter what side of the vaccination debate you’re on, vaccination records for school-aged children will need to be provided come September.
Children receive their first MMR shot when they turn one-year-old and the second vaccination, which provides 99 percent immunity, is administered when they enter Kindergarten.
Medical Health Officer Shannon Waters explains what is going to happen at the start of the next school year.
“What’s going to be happening in the fall is that schools are going to be asking for mandatory records with regards to whether immunizations have been received,” said Waters. “There is likely going to be more contacting of parents with regards to if the school doesn’t have records of the vaccination being received.”
Before the eight lab-confirmed measles cases popped up in the Island Health region this year, the last confirmed case was way back in 2014.
Because of the higher frequency of cases, the province has made vaccination records mandatory for children.
Waters said the transition from recommended to mandatory vaccinations records will have to work out some bugs.
“Up to this point, [the] vaccine has definitely been recommended, but it hasn’t been mandatory to provide records with regards to immunizations being received or not, until this school year,” said Waters. “There will certainly be some hiccups and what not because it’s a new policy, but it’s something that has been talked about for the last number of months, due to the increased activity that we have seen.”
People with one shot can contract the disease, as evidenced by the first two cases of 2019, where two people contracted measles while visiting the same area of Vietnam.
The BC Centre for Disease Control is reporting that, as of June 4, there have been 29 measles cases in the province, including eight in the Vancouver Island Health Authority and ten in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.
Confirmed measles cases by region (as of June 4):