If your child’s vaccine record is incomplete or his or her vaccines are out of date, you’ll be getting a letter from Fraser Health offering a chance to catch up on measles immunization.
Fraser Health has been reviewing records and files to ensure they know which students are up to date and which are not, as part of its catch-up program for school kids this spring and in preparation for mandatory reporting of vaccine records in the fall.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not immunized, it’s that we may not have their record,” explained Tasleem Juma, with Fraser Health.
Parents are being sent letters asking them to submit their records or telling them how to get their child up to date with their immunizations.
“So it’s very much an education campaign to get people up to date by June,” she said.
Fraser Health also states that there is no measles outbreak within the region.
For those whose records show they need to be immunized, vaccine clinics will be held both in community clinics and local schools.
Secondary school students who need their immunizations updated will be able to get their vaccines at their own schools.
Upcoming immunization clinics: Westview secondary on May 2; at Pitt Meadows secondary on May 10; at Meadowridge School on May 14; at Garibaldi secondary on May 15; at Thomas Haney secondary on May 24; at Maple Ridge Christian on May 28; at Maple Ridge secondary on June 4; and Samuel Robertson Technical on June 11.
Some elementary students will be able to be immunized either at clinics located at Westview or Garibaldi, if their schools feed into those.
All other elementary students from Maple Ridge will be directed to weekend or evening drop-in clinics at the public health unit near city hall.
For Pitt Meadows elementary students, there will be an immunization clinic at the Pitt Meadows Heritage Hall on May 21.
People can also get immunized at their family doctor, or by a pharmacist, if they’re more than five years old.
If a child was immunized by someone outside of Fraser Health Public Health, parents should e-mail their child’s immunization record to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Offering the measles immunization catch-up program now will also help prepare parents for the mandatory reporting of vaccination status, which is planned for the fall of 2019.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said details will be announced later of the mandatory vaccine record check that is expected to be in place.
Exemptions for medical or “philosophical reasons” will be available, he said.
Those who never had the measles infection or who did not have two doses of a vaccine are at highest risk of measles and are encouraged to get fully immunized.
A change.org petition started by Maple Ridge resident Katie Clunn, calling for mandatory vaccines in B.C. (with medical exemptions,), now has more than 50,000 signatures.