Health minister rules out mandatory vaccinations in B.C.

22 February, 2019, 06:38 | Author: Denise Dawson
  • Clamour for vaccines as measles outbreak kills nearly 1,000 children in Madagascar

"Others had been hesitant (to be inoculated) because of pressure from peer groups".

"If you feel you have been exposed to measles and have symptoms, call your doctor in advance of an appointment", Mema said.

"And many are making a different decision, which is to protect themselves and also, in many cases, that means protecting the people around them, because not everyone can receive the vaccine". "Parents are endangering their children and others by choosing not to vaccinate".

"We anxious 10-12 years ago because there was a lot of debate around the MMR vaccine", he told CBC News.

"Everything my mother did was with our best interests in mind".

While it is hardly an epidemic, Washington state health officials are keeping a close eye on the new measles cases, as 62 people have already been infected with the highly contagious virus.

"We can not blanket mandate an injection for a child and hold their education hostage for noncompliance", she said.

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Seventeen measles outbreaks were recorded in the US last year, contributing to a total of 372 reported cases, and 127 cases in 10 states have been recorded so far in 2019. A person is contagious for about four days before the rash erupts and four days after its onset. Measles infection can have serious complications such as pneumonia, seizures and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

Public Health recommends that persons traveling to any destination ensure they are vaccinated for measles (given in combination with the mumps and rubella vaccines) at least four to six weeks before departing.

"The majority of people who have developed measles in these outbreaks have not been vaccinated against measles, or have not completed the recommended measles vaccine series", said KDHE Acting Secretary and State Health Officer Lee A. Norman, M.D.

Joining us on Smart Talk do discuss the measles resurgence are Dr. John Goldman, MD, Infectious Disease specialist at UPMC Pinnacle, and Dr. Rene' Najera, DrPH, a Public Health medical professional and editor of the History of Vaccines, a site run by the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

For those born after 1970, who aren't sure if they've been vaccinated, there is no increased risk of adverse effects from getting the MMR vaccine, said Wilson.

As we can determine from the VCH data, many BC residents remain unvaccinated.

"Really, what we are trying to do here is to remind people that they need to follow the B.C. immunization schedule, and that includes measles-containing vaccines and other vaccines that are also effective at preventing other diseases". It is an important reason for you and your family to get vaccinated - so you can help keep yourselves and your community healthy.

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