More than 9,000 school-aged children in the Island Health region are now listed in the public immunization registry. (Black Press File Photo)

More than 9,000 school-aged children in the Island Health region are now listed in the public immunization registry. (Black Press File Photo)

Island Health sees 75 per cent increase in measles vaccinations since ‘catch up’ program began

Changes seen since province made it mandatory for parents to provide immunization records to schools

More children across Vancouver Island are now protected against measles, mumps and rubella.

Island Health has seen a 75 per cent increase in measles immunizations since the provincial government began its ‘catch-up’ program in April.The program saw school clinics, public health clinics and mobile clinics providing immunizations from April through until June to help update residents’ records and ensure that children receive the required two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

READ MORE: B.C. launches immunization program at schools to stamp out measles resurgence

The province also announced a mandatory immunization record check for children enrolled in public and private schools across BC, after a measles outbreak hit the province in the spring. The policy came into effect on July 1. Parents who fail to provide immunization records to the school will be contacted by the public health authority .

From April to June 2019, Island Health provided more than 2,800 measles immunizations for children in grades K-12. At the same time in the previous year, Island Health had distributed 1,600 MMR vaccines.

ALSO READ: More than 37,000 kids now immunized against measles after B.C.’s catch-up program

By the end of the catch-up program more than 9,000 school-aged children in the Island Health region had their information in the provincial immunization registry, a jump of 836 students compared to the beginning of April.

Across the province, more than 27,000 MMR vaccinations were distributed between April and June.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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Vancouver Island Health Authority