Protecting my children with vaccines

Marisca talks the importance of being immunized

I got a pamphlet from Northern Health this week promoting their upcoming Kindergarten Health Fair. It’s a free event for children going into Kindergarten in the fall with free hearing and vision screenings, information on speech and nutrition. The fair also features school entry immunizations. Currently in BC, it is not mandatory to be immunized in order to go to school but it is in three other Canadian provinces. Northern Health recommends all children in Kindergarten receive vaccinations for tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox. My children are both up to date on their vaccinations. It isn’t easy to hold them down and watch someone insert a needle or two into them but it is so important. Not only do I want to do everything in my power to protect them but also want to protect those around them. I don’t know if one of my daughter’s classmates won’t be able to get vaccines because of a weakened immune system or an allergy. I would hate for her to pass on a terrible sickness to someone who can’t protect themselves. Or if one of my children gave whooping couch to a newborn. Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection and can be deadly.

READ LAST WEEK’S THE STICKY FILES: Cracking the code on screen time

Another infectious disease covered by childhood vaccines is measles. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. In fact, the measles virus can stay in the air for up to 2 hours after an infected person was there. So you can get infected by simply being in a room where an infected person once was. It is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90 per cent of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.

One out of every 1,000 measles cases progresses to acute encephalitis, which often results in permanent brain damage. One or two out of every 1,000 children who become infected with measles will die from respiratory and neurological complications.

The interesting part is that in 1998, measles was declared eliminated from Canada and in 2000 in the United States. It has since made a return due to travellers bringing it in and a movement of people who are against vaccinations, usually called anti-vaxxers. The World Health Organization recently declared that “vaccine hesitancy,” was one of the top 10 threats to global health. Other top ten threats to global health included pollution, ebola and HIV, to put it into perspective. The website says, “The reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines – threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease – it currently prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved.”

The anti-vaccination movement dates back as far as vaccinations but discredited ex-physican Andrew Wakefield started a recent movement in 1998 when he published a paper claiming a link between the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to autism. The movement went Hollywood when actress Jenny McCarthy said her son was diagnosed with autism after receiving a vaccination. None of these ideas have been supported by medical evidence. Even if they were, I’d rather my child have autism than die of a preventable disease.

I’ll be honest, I’m not looking forward to taking my strong-willed and also very physically strong daughter to get her shots before Kindergarten but I believe it is the best for her and for our community. Also, I’m going to try and bribe my husband to take her.


@MariscaDekkema
marisca.bakker@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

vaccines

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Thursday’s blackout likely caused by vandalism

Power was out for 10,000 customers from Quick to the Hazeltons for almost 11 hours

VIDEO: Witset cannabis shop officially opens

The store, located at the gas bar on Hwy 16, is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Police investigate July 2 homicide in Houston

Man succumbed to injuries at Pearson Road residence

Tahltan fighter from Telkwa wins provincial award

Lando Ball recognized for his commitment to and accomplishments in karate and for community service

RCMP patrol of smokehouse sparks concerns by Wet’suwet’en hereditary leader

Hereditary Chief Woos says he is feeling uneasy after RCMP attended the smokehouse with rifles

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read