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B.C. working on mandatory registration following measles outbreak

Last Updated Feb 21, 2019 at 4:37 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)

Province stopping short of making vaccines mandatory as the Metro Vancouver area deals with a measles outbreak

Mandatory registration at schools instead of mandatory vaccination is the best path forward says Adrian Dix

A similar system is in place in Ontario and New Brunswick

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – Growing calls for mandatory vaccinations in B.C. are being heard but the health minister says they are taking another approach to ensure people are protected.

Adrian Dix says mandatory registrations at schools instead of mandatory vaccinations is the best option moving forward, noting the move will encourage people to inoculate.

“This type of system was proposed at the time of the last very significant outbreak of measles in 2014 where there were 343 cases reported in British Columbia,” Dix adds. “Our message is clear right now that we get everyone vaccinated right now.”

RELATED: ‘Better safe than sorry’: Poll finds most Canadians back mandatory vaccines for kids

He says this follows a model where the process to opt out is more onerous than getting the shot.

“It makes it harder not to be vaccinated. You have to go through a registration system, you have to establish a certain number of things,” he says. “They do that in Ontario and they do that in New Brunswick.”

Concerns over legal challenges, questionable effectiveness and punishing kids for parental decisions are more reasons why Dix says mandatory vaccinations are not the best choice.

He says the new system could be a place in B.C. as soon as September.