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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

High Local Immunization Rate

Regional | by Claire McCormack  

Ten per cent more students in Grey Bruce are vaccinated compared to the province.

Grey Bruce has a higher immunization rate of young people than the Ontario average.

Public Health Grey Bruce Program Manager Sarah Ellis says that's in part, because school immunization programs work so well.

Public health administers HPV, Meningococcal Disease and Hepatitis B vaccines in schools to Grade 7 students.   

Parents who refuse to have their children immunized for some vaccines, are required by law to sign an affidavit acknowledging that fact. (They're not required to get an exemption form for HPV or Hepatitis B).

New this year, the government announced as of September 1st, parents who refuse  to have their children immunized must participate in an education session.

Ellis says the education portion is a prepackaged session that talks about the benefits and risks of vaccines.

In Grey Bruce, Ellis says parents who refuse to have their child vaccinated make up about 1 per cent, mostly for philosophical reasons.
A very slight few do so for medical reasons, for example, if the child is undergoing Chemotherapy.

In 2015-2016 Grey Bruce had 80.1 per cent Hepatitis B immunization compared to Ontario's 69.9 per cent.

During the same time, Grey Bruce had 71.5 per cent HPV immunization compared to Ontario's 61.0.

Grey Bruce also had 93.3 per cent immunization against Meningococcal Disease while Ontario had  Ontario's 80.6 per cent.

Grey Bruce also has more people immunized against Measles and Pertussis than the Ontario average.

Ellis says it's cheaper to do immunizations at schools at around 23 dollars less than in a clinic and she adds kids have the support of their peers when they are immunized at school.

She notes vaccines don't look like they're needed and that's because they're doing their jobs, "People don't always see vaccine preventable diseases out there anymore." Says Ellis, "We don't for example, see the effects of polio, whereas 50 or 70 years ago most people would know somebody with polio."

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