Mandatory reporting of student’s immunization status to be implemented this month

Mandatory reporting of student’s immunization status to be implemented this month
Rafferty Baker/CBC
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, says the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) shot is not only safe, but it's one of the most effective vaccines doctors have for preventing disease.

Mandatory reporting of student’s immunization status will be implemented this September and parents who choose not to vaccinate their school-age children in B.C. will be required to speak with public health staff.

The new reporting regulation was created in the wake of a global measles outbreak, including the worst the United States has seen in decades. At least 30 people have been confirmed diagnosed with measles in B.C. since 2019 began.

The provincial government began a measles catch-up program from March to June.

The Vaccination Status Reporting Regulation then came into effect on July 1 under the Public Health Act. Under the regulation, every student from kindergarten to Grade 12 in public and independent schools, and those who are homeschooled are expected to have their complete immunization records in the Provincial Immunization Registry.

On Monday, the provincial government said the number of B.C. children now recorded as fully immunized against measles has risen by 37,525.

“The next vital step is implementing the mandatory reporting of the immunization status of school-aged students,” Minister of Health Adrian Dix said. “Through this new requirement, we are making sure that our public health system is better prepared in the event of another outbreak in schools.”

The same reporting program also requires unvaccinated students to stay home for 21 days if there is a measles outbreak — the length of time it may take after exposure for symptoms such as fever and rash to appear.

The measles vaccine is given as the combined measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. Children are routinely given two doses of the MMR vaccine. The first dose is given at 12 months and the second dose is given at 4-6 years of age. Children 4 – 12 years of age who also need protection against chickenpox (varicella) can get their second dose as the combined measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) vaccine.

More information on the Vaccination Status Reporting Regulation can be found here.

With files from CBC


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