Mandatory proof of immunizations for public school enrolment!
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I was at the end of my first trimester when I discovered that my MMR (measles ,mumps and rubella) had worn off. At first I wasn't worried as these are all ancient diseases. I was wrong. There were measles and rubella outbreaks occurring throughout North America, and Europe. Pregnant women who contract measles or rubella are at risk for miscarriage or stillbirth, and for rubella their developing babies are at risk for severe birth defects with devastating, lifelong consequences.
After I gave birth, I was advised that my baby would not be fully protected from these life threatening diseases until she was one. Not a big deal in the 80's but today, your child can contract it relatively easily with the sheer quantity of non-vaccinated people. When my baby was four months old, on a visit to family, we came into contact with someone who was carrying whooping cough. At four months before even being considered old enough to eat apple sauce, my baby was being given antibiotics and we self quarantined by choice so that another family would not have to go through the same ordeal.
All this was controllable. I could limit my child's exposure to the public and control who her playdates are with. But what happens when she goes to school? When she has a full day of interaction with children who may not be immunized?
Currently there is no law in place in British Columbia for proof of immunizations prior to enrolling your child in public schools. Ontario and New Brunswick require proof of immunizations before school enrolment, but both provinces allow certain exceptions.
The aim of mass vaccinations is "herd immunity," ensuring that a base level of the population is resistant to a disease in order to contain its spread.
Measles, for example, has a herd immunity threshold of about 95 per cent. The exact number depends on a variety of factors, but doctors begin to lose confidence in their ability to control the measles virus when 6 per cent of people dismiss or reject the needle.
The counter argument is that mandatory vaccinations is not in keeping with the Canadian Charter of Rights. However the sensible approach taken by other provinces in Canada do not deny people freedom to their beliefs. It merely protects the children of people who choose to vaccinate by limiting prolonged exposure to unvaccinated children.
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