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Vaccination record checking starting in B.C. Interior schools

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November 13, 2019 - 2:15 PM

Parents of school-age children in the Interior Health region may want to look into their immunization records in the days and weeks ahead.

In a school-wide email sent out Wednesday, Nov. 13, medical health officer Dr. Silvina Mema, explained that B.C.’s new Vaccination Status Reporting Regulation came into effect on July 1, and all students in all schools within the province, including those who are home-schooled, but not children attending schools in First Nations communities, will soon have their records checked.

“In the coming months, our staff will check the immunization records we have on file for school-age children,” Mema wrote.

READ MORE: Up to date on your jabs?

“They will identify children whose records are missing or incomplete. Families of these children may be contacted. They will be asked to provide us with the immunization information required under the regulation. We will also let families know where children can receive immunizations.”

Public health centres already have complete immunization information on file for most children. For this reason, most families will not be contacted or need to take any further action.

“If you are contacted, it may only mean that we need to update some information in our files. It may not mean that your child is missing immunizations,” she wrote.

READ MORE: Anti vax message on Okanagan billboard

Parents can use the online Vaccination Status Indicator tool to check if your child’s immunization record is missing or incomplete. It tells you if your child’s immunization record is on file with public health but does not provide any details about their immunization status or history.

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.

Collecting immunization information allows the health authority to control outbreaks by quickly identifying children who are not fully immunized and help everyone get back to learning as soon as possible.

For more information, visit or contact your local health centre to speak to a public health nurse.

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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News from © iNFOnews, 2019

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