BC Health Officials Say A COVID-19 Vaccine Won't Be Mandatory
There are no mandatory vaccines in B.C.
We know everyone's got questions about what a COVID-19 vaccine might actually look like. To address some of the burning questions, B.C. is already starting to provide answers about the distribution of a possible vaccine for COVID-19. On Tuesday, April 28, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Chief Medical Officer of Health in B.C., was asked if a vaccine would be made mandatory for school kids. In response, she said that she has no plans to issue a mandatory vaccination for anyone in the province.
A member of the media in B.C. called into the province's daily conference and asked how public health officials will go about administering a vaccine for COVID-19 when it's developed.
"On the vaccine side of things, do you expect it will be ruled into the policies that exist now with schools to ensure that schools know when parents have vaccinated their kids for COVID-19?" they asked.
They also asked whether a COVID-19 vaccine could be made mandatory for school kids.
Dr. Henry responded, explaining that "In terms of immunization, we have no mandatory immunization in the province."
She said that she doesn't expect that the province will establish mandatory immunization for COVID-19, either.
"We know that young people are less affected but once the vaccine is available, we will have a strategy to roll it out across the whole province and it will be voluntary to those who want it and need it," she added.
She continued to explain thatto vulnerable populations, people "who it will protect the most" as well as health care workers in the province.
Dix, the Minister of Health in B.C., said that the decision to make the vaccine mandatory would be a good problem to have as it means there would be a vaccine available at that time.
"The implementation of a vaccine regime will be very important at that time," the minister said.
He clarified that although there won't be a mandatory immunization, there will be mandatory registration in schools across B.C.
This means parents will have to make it known to the school and public health officials if their kids have been vaccinated or not.
Dix said the approach would be the same as the province's effort against the measles outbreak last year.
"We will continue the extraordinary day-to-day work of public health and ensuring that people are protected," he said.
And that hard work will continue whenever aavailable to the public.
Dix stressed that the key is to not focus on a "small group of people" who don't want to be immunized.
Instead, the focus should be on the larger group of people that will want to get vaccinated when the time comes.
The World Health Organization mentioned that they have identified seven candidate vaccines in the clinical evaluation stage so far.