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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: No clear timeline for replacement shelter solution in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Workers and people affected by homelessness call for immediate help

COVID-19: Parksville Qualicum Beach health care workers honoured with parade

Community shows appreciation to staff at Oceanside Health Centre

Snow falls in Errington on April 1 (no fooling)

Snow doesn’t stick, but more may come on Friday

Oceanside RCMP now offering online crime reporting

Tool available in certain circumstances

‘We don’t need this right now’: B.C. man breaks up road rage incident

Two men were throwing punches on Tillicum Road in Saanich on Vancouver Island

Hip tradition sing-along planned again for Canadians April 2

The Tragically Hip’s Paul Langlois is encouraging all to join him virtually in a’Porch Session.’

Migrant worker advocates blame feds, employers for COVID-19 outbreak at B.C. garden store

Migrant farm worker group calls on government for adequate health and safety requirements

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

COVID-19 PQB business update: looking for takeout food?

Email messages to editor@pqbnews.com

COVID-19 has been impacting Canadian economy since January

But full effects of pandemic won’t be known for months

Doctors trained abroad want to join front lines of COVID-19 fight in Canada

B.C. is looking to allow internationally trained doctors to work under the supervision of attending physicians

Fake test kits and other COVID online scams play on public anxiety: fraud centre

Vancouver has seen a spike in commercial property crimes, with offices and stores empty because of COVID-19

Most Read