With Vancouver in the midst of a measles outbreak, the provincial health minister is considering moving to a mandatory vaccination reporting model for public school kids, similar to what’s required in Ontario.
“What the Ontario model does is it makes it harder not to be vaccinated. You have to go through a registration system,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said Thursday.
Ontario parents have to provide proof their child has been vaccinated before enrolling them in public school. If they want an exemption, they have to attend an information session on the dangers of not vaccinating.
“The most recent report in Ontario shows a vaccination rate for seven year olds at 91 per cent, and that's better than B.C.,” said Dix. “This was recommended in 2014 by the provincial health officer, Dr. Perry Kendall, and it’s the position of the current health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.”
With 33 students forced to stay home from two Vancouver schools at the centre of the outbreak because they haven’t provided proof of vaccination, it's back on the table now.
“Action is coming,” said Dix. “We’re working as quickly as we can.”
The government would have public opinion on its side. In a new survey, 78 per cent of British Columbians polled by Angus Reid think vaccinations should be mandatory for public school kids. Scroll down to read more on the survey results.
“The court of public opinion suggests there's a strong desire not to see people merely opting out or thinking, 'Well I just don’t think I'm going to get this done for my kid,' in the same way you're going to make other choices about putting them into ballet lessons or soccer practice, “ said Angus Reid spokesperson Shachi Kurl.
“I think policy makers can move forward knowing for the most part there is some consensus on this issue. They're not going to run into a brick wall of opposition.”
Scroll through the results of an Angus Reid poll. Viewing this on our mobile beta site? Tap here for a compatible version.