September 18, 2015 - 6:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - As health authorities and politicians discuss the potential of having proof of immunization in schools, the Kamloops-Thompson School District has no plans to impose that requirement on its own.
Statistics from last year for the Kamloops region of Interior Health show 73 per cent of students under the age of seven are vaccinated, leaving more than a quarter who have either not received booster shots or have not been immunized at all.
The district, like others in the province, has no policy in place to deal with students who are not vaccinated and rely on the discretion of public health nurses, assistant superintendent for student support services Bill Hamblett says.
“As a school district, we’re in the business of teaching and learning. In terms of vaccinations that is in the realm of public health,” he says, adding authorities from the district would take the same lead in case of a disease outbreak.
Keeping health information on students is dependent on what parents volunteer for their children, Hamblett says. That can range from a dangerous allergy to a disability. But for now, immunization records are not kept by the district.
That could change if the province obligates families to provide proof of vaccination for students, or a declaration if they're not vaccinated.
Dr. Perry Edwards, a public health officer for the province says provincial health and education branches are currently discussing the possibillity of making immunization status mandatory, like in New Brunswick and Ontario.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015