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Health Minister: when COVID vaccine is ready you won't be forced to take it

Last Updated Apr 28, 2020 at 9:16 pm PDT

FILE - Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry at a daily COVID-19 briefing on Monday, April 13, 2020. (Courtesy Government of B.C.)
Summary

Health Minister says immunization is not mandatory in B.C.

Following measles outbreak, B.C. passed legislation requiring schools to register students who have not been vaccinated

He adds the group of British Columbians who don't want to be vaccinated is small

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — B.C.’s Health Minister says, when a vaccine for this virus is ready, no one will be forced to take it, but students at schools across B.C. will have to disclose if they’re not immunized.

Adrian Dix says people around the world are working on producing a vaccine to the coronavirus and problems around immunization would not be the worst thing.

“The problem of a vaccine for COVID-19, I think it’s fair to say, that we would be delighted to have that problem,” he says.

He adds there will be mandatory registration, “to ensure that everybody knows, especially public health knows who’s immunized and who isn’t, and we will continue the extraordinary, day-to-day work of public health, and ensuring people are protected.”

Dix says the key is to not focus on the small number of people who don’t want to be immunized — but concentrate on getting the majority who would like to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

“I think everybody in every part of the world wants to see a vaccine for COVID-19,” he adds.

Following last year’s measles outbreak, the province quickly passed legislation requiring all schools to register which students have not been vaccinated to better protect others with compromised immune systems.

– With files from Nikitha Martins