FDA Chief Warns Feds May Take Action on Vaccinations

Pearl Mccarthy
February 23, 2019

People born between 1970 and 1994, or who grew up outside of B.C., may have only had one dose of the measles vaccine and may need another to be fully protected. "Having said that, I always tell people who don't vaccinate - just don't hang out with people like yourself".

"We want to make it harder for that to happen".

"Action is coming", said Dix.

"At this time there are no lab-confirmed cases of Measles on Vancouver Island", said the organization on Facebook.

In the meantime, said Dix, "the message is for parents to immunize (their children)".

There have been nine confirmed cases of measles in Vancouver in recent weeks, including eight at two French-language schools in Vancouver, a cluster that began after an unvaccinated B.C. child contracted the disease during a family trip to Vietnam.

Complications from the virus include pneumonia, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), seizures, deafness, brain damage and death. It can also be fatal.

Measles is considered a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that can spread through sneezing, coughing and close personal contact. Of those, 56 patients were not vaccinated and two people received one dose of the vaccine, health officials said.

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Some people can not be vaccinated, including infants under six months of age, people with certain underlying health conditions and those undergoing chemotherapy - meaning they must rely on high levels of immunity within their communities to prevent infection with the virus.

Dix said Ontario's system makes it more hard for those eligible for vaccination to miss getting their shots - and he wants to see B.C. with a similar model.

Lawmakers in Washington State are now pushing legislation that would ban personal or philosophical exemptions for the measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations in school-aged children.

With 33 students forced to stay home from two Vancouver schools at the centre of the outbreak because they haven't provided proof of vaccination, it's back on the table now.

Meanwhile Thursday, a petition calling on the B.C. government to make it mandatory for children attending public schools to be vaccinated - except for medical-based reasons - reached nearly 35,500 signatures on the website change.org.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says Ontario and New Brunswick have a registration system now with exemptions for children who can be vaccinated for medical or other reasons.

Almost all states allow children to attend school even if their parents opt out of vaccines.

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