Maple Ridge mom Katie Clunn wants government to require vaccines. (THE NEWS/files)

Measles measures don’t go far enough says vaccination booster

Support grows for Maple Ridge mom calling for mandatory vaccinations

A Maple Ridge mother who champions compulsory vaccinations says the government’s recent efforts to boost this province’s immunity to measles are baby steps that don’t go far enough.

Katie Clunn now has more than 47,000 signatures on her petition at Change.org, calling for mandatory vaccines in B.C.

“And it’s still ticking.”

She said the petitioners are probably spurred on by measles cases in the Lower Mainland, up to 17 as of Monday.

Two more cases on Vancouver Island were announced on Friday. Many were students who had been travelling abroad.

There has also been a significant outbreak in Washington State and Oregon.

Clunn brought up the issue in 2015, but got little traction. She hopes to speak with health minister Adrian Dix soon.

“When I first started, I didn’t think it would get this far, so I’m pleasantly surprised.”

Her petition page urges people to contact their MLAs and write to Dix.

The province recently announced a measles immunization catch-up program to help B.C. families ensure their children are protected. It will run from April to June.

This month, Fraser Health’s public health unit will be sending letters to parents of children in kindergarten through Grade 12 who do not have up-to-date measles vaccinations, to provide them with instructions on where and when they can get a shot.

Mandatory reporting of vaccination status is planned for fall 2019.

“It’s a baby step, but I don’t think it’s enough to get the herd immunity where it needs to be,” Clunn said.

The World Health Organization recommends vaccination coverage of 95 per cent.

Parents who forgot or were ambivalent about vaccinations will likely go and get their children inoculated, she said.

However, the staunch anti-vaccination crowd will not be persuaded to change their minds, she added.

People who refuse to have their children vaccinated could be refused school admission, with parents making that choice forced to home-school them.

Most U.S. states make vaccinations a condition of enrollment, as do many countries, including France and Italy.

Clunn noted Australia reduces family tax benefits for children that do not meet immunization requirements, but is not a fan of a punitive approach, which could impact the quality of life for children.

She would rather see governments offer an incentive or reward for keeping vaccinations up to date.

“Anti-vaxxers aren’t trying to hurt anybody, they’re trying to protect their kids. They’re just misguided.”

Clunn, who likens not vaccinating a child to not putting a seatbelt on a toddler, also runs a social media page promoting mandatory vaccinations.

Earlier this month, she called on Facebook to ban all anti-vaccination postings. But the social media company said it will not take that step.


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Pitt Meadows remembers

Ceremony held in Spirit Square Monday morning

Army vet, editorial cartoon pioneer takes salute

Army vet, editorial cartoon pioneer takes salute

ON COOKING: Banana bread with a bit of pizzazz

Ever thought of adding cranberries and pistachio nuts to your traditional loaf?

VIDEO: Maple Ridge cyclist struck by pickup, rushed to hospital

Mounties had another neighbourhood the western portion of town behind police tape again Saturday

Flames shut out Whalers Friday night

Rookie netminder gets first junior shutout

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Coquihalla drivers urged to be careful amid freezing rain alert

Special weather statement in effect for highways between Hope, Merritt, Kamloops and Kelowna

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

14 SeaBus cancellations, free rides for veterans from TransLink on Remembrance Day

Free rides also available for current Armed Forces members, first responders

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Most Read