Crystal Galisky, representing a group called Our Choice, protests B.C.’s mandatory vaccination reporting on Saturday at Maffeo Sutton Park in Nanaimo. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Anti-vaxxers on Vancouver Island protest B.C.’s mandatory reporting for kids in school

First phase of new vaccination reporting being implemented this September

A small group of anti-vaxxers protested B.C.’s mandatory vaccination reporting Saturday in Nanaimo.

This year, the B.C. government approved a vaccination status reporting regulation requiring parents to report the vaccination status of all school-age children, starting this September.

According to the government agency Immunize B.C., mandatory reporting not only provides information for health authorities, but also prompts parents to check that their children are up to date with immunization and allows health officials to talk to families about the importance of immunization to the health and well-being of their children and the community as a whole.

RELATED: B.C. launches mandatory vaccine registry for schoolchildren

Fewer than two dozen adults were gathered at Maffeo Sutton Park for Saturday’s protest, which Crystal Galisky, a local organizer, said was more of an assembly.

“This is not an anti-vaxx protest. We have people here that selectively vaccinate and some people that vaccinate but basically we are standing up for our rights and freedoms because they are being challenged right now,” she said.

READ MORE: B.C. health officials to focus on unvaccinated kids heading back to school

Asked about the rights of families for their children to be protected from preventable diseases, Galisky said since people’s bodies respond differently to vaccinations, blood testing would provide more useful health information for the government than vaccination reporting. She said mandatory vaccination would discriminate against those who want choice around vaccination.

Vaccines available in Canada can protect children against 14 serious diseases, and most childhood vaccines provide greater than 90 per cent protection against the disease, notes Health Canada. High vaccination coverage in the population helps to create “herd immunity,” a level of resistance to a disease only achieved when large enough groups of people are immunized.

There have been 29 confirmed cases of measles in B.C. so far this year. The surge in spreading of the highly contagious, air borne disease prompted the government to launch its catch-up vaccination program in mid-April.

The province’s target is 95 per cent immunization through the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

Immunization is not mandatory in Canada. Ontario and New Brunswick are the only other provinces that require proof of immunization for children to attend school. Parents can seek an exemption on religious or conscientious grounds.

-files from Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Algae bloom killing farmed fish on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

DFO says four Cermaq Canada salmon farms affected, fish not infectious

New vice principal loving life at Ucluelet Elementary School

“I’m enjoying getting to know all the teachers and staff.”

‘Finding Solitude’ film premieres in Tofino and Ucluelet

“This film is about protecting our lands.”

School District 70 proposes new school names, asks for public feedback

Board of education suggests new names for the district and two of its schools

Washout brings delays to drivers heading in and out of Tofino-Ucluelet

West Coast commuters are facing delays Tuesday morning.

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

Nanaimo man caught with more than 200,000 child porn images to be sentenced

Crown says Aaron Macrae recorded video of children on buses and at his workplace

Vancouver Island hunters may have harvested deer in area known for chronic wasting disease

Conservation officers make urgent request to public for any information

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Most Read