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Vaccinations and School Entry; What’s the Deal?

A huge percentage of our population thinks that vaccinations are compulsory for school entry. This is far from the truth; so why would anyone think it is?

It is very rare for published articles or mail sent home from school to mention exemptions. Our parents remember being vaccinated –with varying degrees of clarity- and they also tell us that vaccinations are required for school; because that is what they believe, they say that is what they were told. Is this false belief based on lack of information being made available? Are we misinterpreting the information provided or rather; the information is not being easily provided?

Vaccinations are not mandatory in Canada. Nowhere in Canada can vaccines be forced upon a person.  That’s the bottom line; it goes against The Canadian Constitution.

So where does the issue with school come in?

Legislature or regulations have been passed in some provinces to require proof of immunization against some diseases for school entrance.

This does not mean that vaccinations are required. Immunization is not the same as vaccination. One of the most important things when reading laws etc. is wording. You can give proof of immunization without actually having a vaccine. You can get a lab test done to give you proof. This is also helpful in determining whether or not a ‘booster’ vaccine is necessary.

If you do not have proof of immunization you can file an exemption. You print off the form – orpick one up at your local health unit- Take it to be notarized and send the original back to the health unit, remembering to keep a few copies for yourself.

So now you have 3 options for school entry

  1. Proof of Immunization
  2. Proof of exemption
  3. Proof of vaccination

Which provinces require these documents? Only 3. Ontario and New Brunswick only require proof for these diseases; diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella immunization. The third is Manitoba but they only want proof for measles immunization.

So why the fuss, what is the purpose for all this. Well it is supposed to server two main purposes.

To find children who are not properly immunized and have the situation rectified.

To make parents who choose not to comply to actively refuse.

In my opinion this doesn’t sound like it belongs in a country that allows choice. This makes it harder to say no. It makes it more of a fight to say no. We do not get to just say ‘no thanks’, we have to actively refuse. If most are under the impression that vaccines are required for school, is that really giving them a choice?

No Shots, No School, Not True!

Vaccinations are not mandatory.

You have a choice.

 

 

http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/webarchives/20071212103611/

http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/97vol23/23s4/23s4b_e.html

 

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