In a recent turn of events, it looks as though the BC Health Minister is in support of making vaccines mandatory for students in the province. This statement comes just days after the BC Minister of Education's stated that mandatory vaccinations would not possible. The mandatory vaccine model looking to be adopted by the BC's Health Minister would be similar to the ones in provinces like New Brunswick and Ontario.
Yesterday, Narcity reported BC Education Minister, Rob Fleming, stating that mandatory vaccines for school students would not be possible in the province. According to Fleming, mandatory vaccines would not be possible due to the Canadian Constitution not allowing it.
Fleming did follow up by stating that offering vaccines in schools for preventable diseases would minimize the inconvenience for parents to take their kids elsewhere. Thus, potentially increasing the vaccination rate in the province.
With nine confirmed cases of measles this year in Vancouver and a low vaccination rate of 83.1% for the disease, there has been a public outcry from many residents to make vaccines mandatory for children entering schools. In fact, there has been so much public support that an online petition entitled Mandatory Vaccines in BC (with medical exemptions) has surfaced on change.org. This petition currently has over 36,000 supporters out of their 50,000 signature goal, with more signing every minute.
i vote we make vaccines mandatory bc it’s the kids dying that are effected by it not the idiots who are against it....— ᴍᴇʟᴇᴀʜ ᴍᴀᴇ (@meleahxo) February 8, 2019
With the growing support and conversation for mandatory vaccines, the BC Health Minister has finally spoken out on the manner. According to Health Minister Adrian Dix, BC could be adopting the Ontario model of vaccinating. This model makes it much more difficult for children not be vaccinated.
The Ontario model works by requiring parents to provide proof of their child's vaccination history before enrolling them in school. According to CTV, if a parent does not want to vaccinate their child they must attend an information session on the dangers of not vaccinating.
I agree we need mandatory vaccines, with medical exemptions, so that we can get herd immunity to protect our vulnerable people. Those with cancer, transplants, and other compromised immune system problems need our help. @adriandix https://t.co/WBLlRBUgXD— Kelly Greene - Rmd City Councillor (@kelly_bc_ca) February 14, 2019
Of course, there are ways to get out of mandatory vaccines. Ways of opting out come down to medical reasons, such as allergies, or ideological reasons, such as religion.
Students who do not have any reason to opt out will receive vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal disease, whooping cough, and chickenpox for children born in 2010 or later.
I have seen children die from measles and chicken pox.— Patrick McDonald (@Brainsurger) February 17, 2019
Vaccines do not cause autism
BC should have mandatory vaccination for schoolchildren https://t.co/BYbaQz2UWj
“The most recent report in Ontario shows a vaccination rate for seven-year-olds at 91 percent, and that's better than BC,” said Dix. “This was recommended in 2014 by the provincial health officer, Dr. Perry Kendall, and it’s the position of the current health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.”
A great majority of BC residents are in favour of this action. According to an Angus Reid Institue poll, 70% of Canadians support the idea of mandatory vaccinations.
Dix further stated that action is coming and they are working as quickly as they can. Although it is unclear when a change in the constitution like this may be implemented, it is on the horizon.