Sudbury above provincial average for measles vaccine uptake, health unit says

The World Health Organization says vaccine hesitancy is one of the top 10 threats to global health in 2019.

WHO says vaccine hesitancy is one of the top threats to global health

The World Health Organization says vaccine hesitancy is one of the top 10 threats to global health in 2019.

The organization states globally, there has been a 30 per cent increase in measles. It adds the reason there has been an increase are complex and include vaccine hesitancy.

However in the Sudbury-area, many people are choosing to get their children vaccinated against measles, according to Public Health Sudbury & Districts.

Deanna Cappadocia, a registered nurse with the control of infectious disease team at Public Health Sudbury & Districts, says the uptake for the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is higher in this region compared to the provincial average.

In the Sudbury area, the rate of people who are vaccinated before the age of 17 is 99 per cent compared to 94 per cent across Ontario.

Cappadocia says in Ontario, there is legislation in place that children attending schools be immunized against some diseases.

However, according to Cappadocia not all children have to get vaccinated if they have a medical exemption.

"It's not to say down the road that once this child is medically well that they won't be immunized down the road," she said.

Another exemption is a religious and philosophical exemption.

"For this, there is a process," she explained.

"The family or legal guardian has to come into the health unit for an hour appointment and they have an educational session with us."

Hesitancy vs. anti-vaccine

Vaccine hesitancy happens when someone chooses not get vaccinated, but may do so at a later date when they are more informed on the topic, she explains.

Cappadocia acknowledges there is a lot of misinformation online about vaccines.

"We always encourage them to either call public health or their health care practitioner so we can give them reputable sites that they can go and look at," she said.

"Being vaccinated not only protects the individual them self but others around them who may not be able to be immunized. We refer to this as herd immunity. The more people who are immunized, the less chance we have of having these diseases come into our community."

With files from Jamie-Lee McKenzie


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