More children get measles shots in Tri-Cities

Catch up campaign hopes to close the gap in coverage as last year only 73.4% of School District 43 students reportedly had their measles shots

More School District 43 children are heading to school this fall with up-to-date measles vaccinations, according to records provided by Fraser Health.

And a catch-up program this spring is one of the reasons why.

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Between April and June, as many as 1,823 children who attend Tri-Cities schools had their measles vaccinations brought to date, bringing the total number of vaccinated school-aged children to 26,198.

The  spring-catch up is good news because records from the last school year show a wide variety of vaccination rates among SD43 schools, with several schools having vaccination rates under 70% and some as low as 64.7%.

Tuesday, school board officials got information that shows that in 2018/’19, only 73.4% of students in SD43 had their measles shots, compared to 76.9% for the Fraser Health region.

The low rates come at a time when the province is focusing on getting more children vaccinated to protect them against recent outbreaks of the disease.

To help parents comply with the B.C.’s new Vaccination Status Reporting Regulation, Fraser Health will be sending letters to parent with instructions on how to check their child’s immunization status through an online provincial immunization registry.

“Parents of children with incomplete records will be advised on how to update the records and where to send the information,” Fraser Health spokesperson Dixon Tam said in a statement to The Tri-City News.

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