Victoria: While parents and guardians are making preparations to ensure their kids have another successful year at school with pens, books and binders, they are reminded to keep in mind the importance of immunization for their children.
Following this year’s global measles outbreak, the Province took immediate action to increase immunizations and collect immunization records. Through increased immunizations and combined record reconciliation, the number of 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,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Through this new requirement, we are making sure that our public health system is better prepared in the event of another outbreak in schools.”
Most parents are already in compliance with this requirement. Before the end of September, most parents will be able to check whether their child’s record available in the provinical immunization registry is complete by going to: https://immunizebc.ca/
Parents can also take a proactive approach and contact their child’s immunization service provider. In addition to public health and school clinics, parents can get their children immunized through their primary care providers or community pharmacists.
“I am so proud of our response to the measles outbreak. I would like to thank parents, educators and public health professionals for rallying in response to prevent the spread of measles,” said Dix. “Our work continues. Beginning in fall 2019, all public, independent and home-schooled students from kindergarten to Grade 12 who are enrolled in B.C. schools in 2019-20 will be expected to have their current immunization status recorded in B.C.’s provincial immunization registry.”
The new mandatory immunization reporting requirement increases the ability of public health to respond during an outbreak by quickly identifying those who are under-and unimmunized. It also encourages parents to ensure their child’s immunizations are up to date.
The Province initially launched an immunization catch-up program, which ran from April to June 2019, to help ensure that school-aged children are protected against measles. Health authorities held 1,053 in-school clinics, as well as 3,584 public health clinics, in communities throughout B.C. from April 1 to June 30.
During the catch-up program, 590,748 students from kindergarten to Grade 12 had their immunization records reviewed. Parents and guardians of children who had missing or incomplete records were notified as well.