“Children starting kindergarten should have up-to-date booster shots to protect against polio, tetanus, diphtheria, chicken pox and whooping cough,” says Vancouver Coastal Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Meena Dawar. “While most of these infections are now rare in BC because of routine childhood vaccination programs, the recent whooping cough and measles outbreaks are a reminder that these diseases are still around and can spread quickly among those who are unprotected.”
Parents are asked to submit their children’s immunization record before their child begins attending school. If someone at school contracts a vaccine-preventable infectious disease, children who are not immunized may have to stay home until it is safe to return. By ensuring your child is immunized, not only are you protecting their health but those in the community as well.
Dawar emphasizes that vaccines are the best way to protect children against these serious and sometimes fatal diseases. Vaccines are safe and pose only minor, if any, side effects. “It’s much safer to get the vaccine than to get the disease,” she says. “If parents have any concerns, they should always speak with their doctor or a public health nurse.”
VCH is responsible for the delivery of $3.4 billion in community, hospital and residential care to more than one million people in communities including Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola.
FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
Public Affairs Officer
Vancouver Coastal Health