Thousands more students have been immunized in B.C. (Black Press files)

Back-to-school brings new immunization reporting

More than 700 students brought up to date in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows

More kids have measles immunizations in the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows School District this year.

In School District 42, another 720 students have been brought up to date, and across the province a total of 37,525 children are newly recorded as being fully immunized.

Following this year’s global measles outbreak, the province took action to increase immunizations and collect immunization records.

This fall, all public and private school students, including home-schooled children from kindergarten to Grade 12 who are enrolled in B.C. schools will be expected to have their current immunization status recorded in the province’s immunization registry.

Most parents are already in compliance with this requirement. Before the end of September, most parents will be able to check whether their child’s record available in the provincial immunization registry is complete by going to:

Fraser Health spokesperson Tasleem Juma noted parents who choose not to immunize their children will be required to speak with public health staff under the mandatory reporting program. If there is a measles outbreak children who have not been immunized will be automatically excluded from school for 21 days. That is the time it can take after exposure to measles for symptoms such as fever and rash to appear.

The new mandatory immunization reporting requirement is designed to increase the ability of public health to respond during an outbreak by quickly identifying those who are not immunized, said a Ministry of Health press release during the first week of the new school year. It also encourages parents to ensure their child’s immunizations are up to date.

The province initially launched an immunization catch-up program, which ran from April to June, to help ensure that school-aged children are protected against measles. Health authorities held 1,053 in-school clinics and 3,584 public health clinics across B.C. from April 1 to June 30.

During the catch-up program, 590,748 students had their immunization records reviewed. Parents and guardians of children who had missing or incomplete records were notified as well.



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