Column: Immunization fail

Compared to rest of interior, Kootenay Boundary ranks at bottom

Trisha Shanks

Arrow Lakes News

According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the average rate for a British Columbia two year old to be up-to-date on vaccines has varied from 65 per cent to 71 per cent. In the interior, the Kootenay Boundary rate is only 57 per cent.

Vaccinations are a controversial topic — of that there is no doubt. There are camps both for and against administering inoculation to children, which normally begins at the age of eight weeks.

A child routinely receives vaccinations beginning at two months of age and on a regular basis until they are six, according to a document available on the Interior Health website, BC Routine Immunization Schedule. It lists up to 25 vaccinations and boosters available to infants and children up to age six and then additional immunizations that are offered in Grade 6 and Grade 9. Shots are given at appointments or in school.

Immunizebc.ca lists five reasons for vaccinating: “Vaccines save lives, deadly diseases still pose a risk, travel can spread diseases quickly, vaccines are safe and effective, and vaccines protect everyone.”

Dr. Sue Pollock, medical health officer with Interior Health agrees. “We are seeing an increase in vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles. Before these vaccines are put on the market, there are extensive clinical trials and we continue to monitor their safety.”

Measles was thought to be eradicated in 2002, according to the World Health Organization, yet it’s been making a comeback. Pollock says that thanks largely to the vaccines’ effectiveness, people have been able to forget how severe and deadly these diseases can be.

She cites fear around autism and misinformation for the low adherence. “There is so much access to information, but there is a lot of misinformation on vaccines and their safety. Vaccines are safe and reliable and there is good, solid scientific research to back that up.”

Many parents are relying on “herd immunity” in order to keep their children from getting vaccinations because under this theory, the unvaccinated are protected from disease thanks to those who get their shots.

 

However, Pollock says, “In order for community immunity to be effective, more than 90 per cent of the population has to be vaccinated,” and not vaccinating should only be a consideration for those who cannot be immunized such as infants and people who are immune-compromised.

 

 

Just Posted

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

Smiles all around as province announces emergency ward funding

$2.1 million to go to much-needed upgrades

As avalanche danger grows, BC heli-skiers exercise caution

Company relies on guides’ decades of experience

Crash closes Highway 6

Chip truck jackknifed, blocked road for most of night

Council briefs- funding, fees and fumes

The cost of several civic services will increase in 2018

B.C. boy denied $19,000-per-month drug to ease ‘crippling pain’ for 3rd time

Sooke mom Jillian Lanthier says son Landen Alexa has been forgotten about by Premier John Horgan

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Toronto girl dies after being pinned between vehicles while picked up from school

Police say an SUV with no driver in it rolled forward and pinned the girl against her father’s car

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

B.C. Liberal hopefuls begin final leadership push

Five MLAs, one outsider pitch policies to party members

Most Read