BC launches catch-up vaccination program to protect against measles

Mar 20 2019, 6:08 pm

The provincial government is launching an immunization catch-up program, to help families ensure that their children are protected from measles.

“With outbreaks of measles occurring globally and here in BC, we know we will see threats of further outbreaks and can be doing more to raise immunization rates,” says Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.

The program will be made available in schools, public health units, community health centres, and mobile clinics, and is aimed at children from kindergarten to Grade 12.

According to the Ministry of Health, it’s designed to be a “simpler and stress-free” system for parents to ensure that their children are protected from measles.

To prepare for the campaign, the provincial government is purchasing a one-year supply of the vaccine, worth $3 million.

The program will run from April through June of this year. It’s the first step in the provincial government’s two-phase plan to educate people about the importance of immunization and help them be aware of their immunization status.

“Our goal is to immunize as many people as possible before the end of the school year,” says Dix. “The purpose, ultimately, is to reach an immunization rate of 95%.”

The catch-up program is also meant to prepare families for the mandatory reporting of a child’s vaccination status, which is planned for Fall 2019.

Parents are advised to check their child’s immunization records to ensure that they’re up to date. This information can also be found with their primary health care provider or a public health unit.

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