To the editor:
In response to your view on Immunization in B.C. (Immunization A Public Concern, March 25 Capital News), I would like to add to the discussion the lack of good consistent communication between B.C. health authorities and families.
Having young children myself I have been through the immunization years and can verify that communication between the health authority and parents, as well as between the front line health care workers and parents in regards to immunizations, can be improved greatly. Parents have to ask more questions and health care has to answer them directly without prejudice.
When voicing my questions and concerns to public health workers I experienced a wide range of treatment from the very good to the incredibly offensive. One public health nurse rolled her eyes at me and equated not vaccinating my child to driving her around without a car seat and then proceeded to not take the rest of my questions seriously.
As much as I can understand the frustration of health care workers with a media-inundated and therefore more demanding public, it is part of their job to answer questions in a reasonable manner should those questions be asked reasonably.
Needless to say I left that particular appointment without the intellectual answers that I was looking for.
My husband and I decided to immunize our children based on our life style (we are frequent international travelers) as well as the information we received from our parents and grandparents; particularity our 92-year-old grandmother who well remembers the days before vaccinations.
Had we been left to base our decision solely on information we were given by our health care system I’m not so sure that we would have made the same choice.
I know that your editorial is primarily based on one particular group in B.C., however; many parents around our province are choosing not to immunize and I believe that, given consistently better communication, we will have better immunization rates in the future.