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

VIU students pitch planning projects to Cumberland

Students looked at topics such as historical values and parking issues

Comox Valley ends tough VIJHL season with a win

Glacier Kings more than double last year’s win total but miss post-season

Comox Valley school district drama students present Xanadu

Venice Beach, California, 1980. An aspiring young artist paints a mural, and… Continue reading

Heart attacks strike husband, wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

Kingfisher spa now open following early January fire

Owner Bill Brandes offered personal funds to minimize the impact of the situation on his employees.

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

CRA puts focus on paper returns as tax-filing season opens

The federal tax collector expects to handle about two million paper returns this calendar year out of roughly 26 million filings

Teck withdraws application for Frontier mine, citing discourse over climate change

The Vancouver-based company said it will take a $1.13-billion writedown on the Frontier project in Alberta

B.C. VIEWS: Pipeline dispute highlights need for clarity

As the B.C. treaty process grinds on, uncertainty remains

Massive early-morning blaze destroys Vancouver Island home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire at unoccupied residence

First win, fifth win highlight BC Senior Curling finals

Donna Mychaluk wins first title after finishing second five times; Wes Craig takes fifth crown

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Most Read