Published: Fri, March 01, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Washington lawmakers move to remove vaccine exemptions amid growing measles outbreak

Washington lawmakers move to remove vaccine exemptions amid growing measles outbreak

The BC Pharmacy Association also said Tuesday that pharmacists across the province have reported an increase in demand for measles booster shots and MMR vaccines. For a child with a compromised immune system, measles can be as risky as a gun.

Jessica Farley, spokesperson for the Toe River Health District of Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties said there was rumored to be a case of measles in that health district area recently, but that the person suspected of having the disease was diagnosed with another ailment after being examined by a health care professional.

Measles is a highly contagious airborne viral infection that spreads by coughing and sneezing. This vaccination comes with the combination of other vaccines also.

The Department of Health has declared measles outbreak in five regions in the Philippines, including Metro Manila, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Western and Central Visayas.

"We want to consider all of those options because I think in what is a serious outbreak there is, with the amount of public attention there, it's natural where there are cases in B.C. now where there is an opportunity to use that momentum to get more people immunized now", he said.

The importance of herd immunity is proved by data emerging from Clark County, Washington, where there are 62 confirmed cases of measles since January 1 and only 78 percent of school-age children have had both recommended doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Deadly measles complications affected about one in every 1,000 patients who got the measles, and more than 400 people died from measles every year in the US.

The risk of death from measles is higher for adults and infants than for children.

Dix said there is more than enough measles vaccine for British Columbians and it is already free at most pharmacies, doctor's offices and public health units.

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"We risk losing decades of progress in protecting children and communities against this devastating but entirely preventable disease", Soumya Swaminathan, a deputy director general at the World Health Organization, said in a recent statement .

Of the total number, 63 percent have not been vaccinated, 19 percent have unknown number of doses and 16 percent have unknown vaccination status, based on data from WHO.

"There is a group of people out there who, even if you take as much science as is available, you won't change their minds".

Late last week, the state Senate's health committee voted 7-4 to advance a measure that would remove the option for parents to claim personal or philosophical exemptions from a child's school vaccinations.

But most major mainstream religions - including all Christian denominations - have no prohibition on vaccinations, and many advocate for immunization, according to studies.

In Montana, one representative is working to make it easier for parents to opt-out of vaccines for children in daycare. "These are not related to the school outbreak", said Henry.

A small but growing number of children in the United States have yet to be vaccinated against any disease. Those came mostly from western North Carolina.

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