Anti-vaxxers push back

A call by Vancouver Coastal Health for residents to update their vaccinations is resulting in a new wave of anti-vaxxer push back.

Nine cases of measles have been confirmed in Metro Vancouver, prompting a letter from VCH to schools encouraging those born after Jan. 1, 1970, and "unsure of your immunization history and unable to locate your records ... (to) get a dose of MMR vaccine."

But some parents are pushing back, CTV News reports.

A counter-petition has been launched to one calling for mandatory immunization at public schools, titled "Maintain the right to choose what happens to your children."

"Get vaccination clinics out of schools and get uninformed do-gooders out of people's private health decisions," the counter-petition states.

UBC pediatric professor Julie Bettinger says "there's probably around two to three per cent who absolutely refuse all vaccines, they don't want to vaccinate and there's nothing you can say that will convince them."

"There's probably another 15 to 20 per cent who are hesitant, meaning they may have gotten all the vaccines but still have questions about it," she told CTV.

Bettinger said a discredited 1998 study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield fuelled anti-vaxx sentiments, falsely claiming a link between autism and the measles vaccine.

"It actually makes me mad because this is someone who was a fraudulent researcher, who has harmed how many hundreds of thousands of children based on evidence that he made up," she said.

Meanwhile, the VCH letter states: "There is no evidence of measles transmission into the wider community."

– with files from CTV Vancouver


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