Measles catch-up: 3,800 vaccine doses administered to K-12 students
CTV News Vancouver
Published Thursday, May 9, 2019 2:04PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 9, 2019 2:05PM PDT
About 3,800 elementary and high school students have received a dose of the measles vaccine since B.C. began its "catch-up" immunization program last month, according to new numbers from the province.
That's a 106 per cent increase over the doses administered in April 2018, though the government did not specify how much of a dent it has made in the province's vaccination rate.
The catch-up program was designed to reverse the tide of falling immunizations numbers. Only 82 per cent of seven-year-olds in B.C. were up to date on their measles vaccines in 2018, down from 91 per cent just five years prior.
The Ministry of Health said more than 551,000 letters were sent to families with school-aged children since the program began on April 1. The province also set up 129 in-school immunization clinics and another 1,343 clinics in communities.
The effort will continue through May and June with another 594 in-school clinics and 148 community immunization clinics, which are being introduced in addition to the 1,912 regularly scheduled public health clinics.
So far this year, B.C. has seen 29 confirmed measles cases, including 10 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and nine in the Fraser Health region. There have also been eight in the Island Health region and two in the Interior Health region.
After the catch-up program, B.C. is planning to launch a mandatory reporting system for parents this fall, the details of which have yet to be announced.