On Wednesday, the second case of measles was confirmed in Vancouver in the span of a week. Since then, Vancouverites have started to become concerned about the illness spreading, especially since there have been outbreaks in other major cities, such as Washington State where 54 cases have been confirmed. Now, an online petition has been started to make vaccines mandatory within the B.C. school systems.
The petition was created five days ago on Change.org and has since then gained over 2,000 signatures. The petition was created in an attempt to make vaccines mandatory for all B.C. students, except those with medical exemptions. B.C. currently does not request that all vaccine records need to be up to date to enroll in school and this petition wishes to change that.
The petition was launched by Katie Clunn who told the Vancouver Sun that she was concerned about outbreaks within the school due to students who are not vaccinated. She states that with mandatory vaccines it will help to protect children and adults with health concerns. Those who already have preexisting health conditions, such as people who are taking chemo treatments, shouldn't have to fall victim to the measles because other students are not vaccinated.
Clunn states, "You are always entitled to choice, but you are not exempt from the consequences of your choices,".
Measles outbreaks have started to become a problem throughout North America recently and Vancouver has seen two cases. Vancouver Coastal Health has confirmed that the latest case of measles was transmitted locally.
They have also confirmed that this case was transmitted locally through a school-aged child. The first case that was confirmed on Saturday and was acquired abroad.
B.C. also experienced a measles outbreak in 2014 when 343 cases were reported, most of them being connected to an outbreak that occurred within a religious community that objects to vaccines.
Ontario and New Brunswick already have mandatory immunization with exceptions and proof must be shown before children can enroll within the school system.
Source: Vancouver Sun