Up to date on your jabs? Provincial vaccination reporting program set to roll out in schoools - InfoNews

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Up to date on your jabs? Provincial vaccination reporting program set to roll out in schoools

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August 30, 2019 - 6:30 PM

KELOWNA - If your children's vaccination records have gaps, there may be a little more paperwork for you as this school year gets underway.

The province’s mandatory immunization reporting program is set to launch in September, and parents who need their children’s records updated may have to do some digging. How that will play out, however, remains to be seen. While the province said the system is good to go, schools are still awaiting instruction.

“We’re going to get a new protocol on that in the fall,” Kevin Kardaal, superintendent of Central Okanagan schools said Friday, Aug. 30.

“We have to wait and see what that means, but our only role right now is to facilitate distribution of information material from IHA, which did a push and vaccinated lots of kids last year.”

Interior Health launched a vaccine campaign from April 1 until the end of June of this year, and during that time they administered 700 per cent more measles, mumps, rubella vaccinations to school-age children in the Okanagan than they had in the previous year, Issy Aguiar, manager of immunization program for IHA, said.

“Parents get busy and they forget their kids are requiring vaccines. These weren’t anti immunizers,” she said. “They had forgotten whether kids were up to date and reached out to make sure they were vaccinated.”

Aguiar noted that some people simply are unsure.

A survey done for Health Canada in 2017, showed one in three parents expressed having some kind of doubt or concern about vaccinating their child. One in 10 said they had refused or delayed getting some vaccines for their children.

The educational campaign is going some distance in addressing fears.

"There have always been people who have had concerns, but there is a group of people who are uncomfortable not because they are against vaccines, but because they don’t know what vaccines they are qualified for and how to reach them," she said.

"We found during the measles campaign, after speaking, people felt more comfortable about immunizing children and themselves."

Two separate doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine are needed to provide immunity against the highly contagious airborne disease, the first dose at 12 months of age and the second usually between the ages of four and six.

For parents who don’t know if their vaccines or records are up to date, they can contact public health officials themselves to check the immunization record of their child.

Interior Health has information on its website on where parents can take their children to get vaccinated. Those links can be found on the HealthLinkBC webpage here with more information about the reporting program.

Measles was eradicated in Canada in 1998, but cases have been imported since. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the chest.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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