Kids should be vaccinated against measles says Alberta health minister

| April 3, 2014 | 1 Comment

In Wabasca health region, measles vaccination rates were as low as 42 per cent in 2012

measles

Two cases of measles was reported in Calgary Wednesday, while another case in Edmonton was reported Thursday.

Alberta’s health minister says parents should have their children vaccinated against measles to protect them and other youngsters from the contagious illness.

Fred Horne says it’s important for the government to raise awareness, but it is also an issue of social responsibility.

“Education and awareness play an important role around immunization,” Horne said Thursday in a conference call from Toronto.

“But in the end parents must make the conscious decision to take their child and to have them vaccinated to protect their child, but also to protect other children in the family and the community.”

Health officials reported a case of measles in Edmonton on Thursday, the ninth in the province this year. The others include five cases in Calgary and three in central Alberta.

Last fall, there were 42 cases in the Lethbridge area. Officials believe the outbreak originated from one unvaccinated student.

The Alberta Health website shows measles vaccination rates in 2012 were as low as 42 per cent in the Wabasca region. The provincial average was 84 per cent.

The provincial vaccination target is 98 per cent.

The Public Health Agency of Canada issued a notice Friday warning of a higher than usual number of measles cases this year . The illness has been reported in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

B.C. has reported 320 confirmed cases in recent weeks, mostly in the Fraser Valley.

Manitoba reported two new cases Thursday to bring the province’s total this year to four.

Dr. Christopher Sikora, an Alberta medical officer of health, said some people incorrectly believe that vaccines are linked to autism. Other people don’t have their children vaccinated for religious reasons.

It’s unacceptable for children to contract pneumonia or die from measles when there is a free vaccine available, he said.

“It is a safe vaccine. It is effective at what it has to do. It helps keep our own children safe. It helps keep other children safe.”

Horne said there is growing concern among health ministers about immunization rates for childhood diseases. He said it appears the numbers are getting worse instead of getting better.

Horne suggested the problem may be some parents not having accurate information.

The Canadian Press

 

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  1. MaryAnne says:

    It is so tiring to hear the same old same old same old kind of reports and also articles about the vaccination issue.
    Every article, every broadcast over-simplifies, even villifies one side or the other (usually villifying the side that doesn’t vaccinate). Opposing viewpoints are only alluded to, and the media simply contributes daily to the polarization between the 2 opposing points of view.
    Here’s an idea!!
    How about providing a more in-depth look at BOTH sides of the vaccination debate? How about providing links to further information? Instead of all the name-calling and labeling, and trying to blame un-vaccinated but NON-infected children with potential epidemics, why not EDUCATE all of us more thoroughly?
    For those who don’t vaccinate or only vaccinate with regards to CERTAIN vaccines (very selectively, for very specific reasons), why not start to explore this more seriously, and ask people why, instead of lumping EVERY single non-vaccinated or selectively vaccinated family into the same old tired category of “those mis-informed parents who still believe a dis-proven link to autism”. Puleese.
    That is SO old and the issue is far far more complicated on an individual scientific patient-by-patient basis.
    So the minister suggests “the problem may be some parents not having accurate information.” Then I say to the media: spend time enlighening people on the complexity of the issue. The actual science behind the issue. On both sides. To simply report what the mainstream establishment says, and refer to the “other point of view” but never intelligently report on it — is IRRESPONSIBLE journalism. And everyone is tired of it.
    People want to learn, want to be informed. Of both sides of the issue. So get on with the business of education.
    I have serious reservations about the “science of vaccines” (imperfect and not fail-safe, especially due to the human error factor). I have serious reservations about the position of NOT vaccinating whatsoever. Every thinking person knows that there is science on BOTH sides of the issue. Each side claiming that the other has “no valid science” — wait, that is tired and old, too.
    Vaccination is a deeply personal matter, and in every single case that I know, a decision which very consciencious parents weigh carefully before making.
    There are so many factors to consider: genetics of the family background, any possibly immune-comprised health considerations, the actual vaccine itself (where was it made, what are the ingredients, is it from a reputable lab or from one who has produced vaccines that in some cases have been toxic or fatal? Every detail about individual vaccines should be available to the public (without us being made to feel like we are ‘being difficult’ or asking too many questions or ‘being hostile’ if we simply ask to see the exact details of each and every vaccine). I read the label of every box I purchase in the grocery store, especially when I am in turn feeding it to my children. It is completely legitimate that I will be equally as demanding to know the precise ingredients and manufacturing details of something that you want to put in my body or my child’s body, when I don’t really can’t vouch for reliability or the safety of the third party “science”, two, three,four, five times removed from you. It is totally understandable that when children actually die reacting to a vaccination, that after fully researching the less-than-stellar historical record of the medical establishment’s vaccination programs, parents could be legitimately concerned about “the science”, whatever the actual odds are.
    This is very personal, and something people research, discuss, and deeply agonize over… How dare the media treat the whole issue with such glibness?
    I know people that have been vaccinated so much they must be a human pin cushion– and they seem totally fine.
    I have sat with people who agonized over their child’s autism (whatever my personal opinion may be, I do not have the right to definitely dismiss their pain nor their reticence to add more vaccines to an already-compromised immune system);
    I have sat in a waiting room with a family where both parents had masters degrees and did not immunize their children due to the history of immune-comprised diseases in both of their family trees. They had done their homework, but the way both doctors & nurses treated them in the emergency room was despicable and did nothing to “enlighten” the family. Nor did they listen to their valid concerns.
    I have sat with perfectly healthy senior citizens who had the flu shot and were gone inside of 2 weeks.
    I have spent years in Africa watching vaccinations save people’s lives.
    I myself was vaccinated with every possible vaccine–and was fine with most of them, then nearly died from one of them.
    It is SO very complicated. So give us all a break and portray this in the media. Not the simplified lines which insult people on each side of the issue.
    I would leave you with this thought: How many people who regularly get vaccinations for themselves & their children can truly explain to you the science behind each and every vaccine, the safety and the ingredients of every vaccine? Or truth be told have they just gotten it done because the health minister said so, and they always had them? Kind of like the people who are in church on Sunday simply because their parents are, and they have always been there.
    I can’t help compare the “blind faith” crowd to those that I know that either do NOT vaccinate or selectively vaccinate. If I ask them, they can tell me “chapter and verse” exactly why they did not, or why this vaccine and not that vaccine, what measures they took to counteract the side-effects if they did vaccinate, and all the details of said vaccine.
    BOTH sides should be equally informed.
    As we ALL should of what goes into our bodies.

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