Toronto Public Health seeks to limit religious, philosophical vaccine exemptions – Newstalk 610 CKTB (iHeartRadio)

Toronto Public Health seeks to limit religious, philosophical vaccine exemptions - Newstalk 610 CKTB (iHeartRadio)
Report calls for scrapping exemptions to student vaccinations
Torontos top doctor is calling on the province to consider scrapping philosophical and religious exemptions for immunizing students.

The citys medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, made the recommendation in a new report outlining Toronto Public Healths strategy to address vaccine hesitancy.

Currently, under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, children are required to have proof of immunization for certain diseases to attend school in Ontario, unless there is a "valid medical exemption or affidavit of conscience or religious belief," the health ministry's Travis Kann noted in a statement.

Toronto Public Health calling on province to end non-medical exemptions for vaccines in schools

Toronto Public Health offers vaccines directly to students to protect against human papillomavirus (HPV), meningitis and hepatitis B.

"Vaccine hesitancy, the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines, is a growing concern in Canada," she wrote in the report. "It stems, in large part, from misinformation about vaccines that spreads on social media platforms and the Internet."

Public health officials estimate that in Canada, about 20 per cent of parents are vaccine hesitant.

To respond to this growing threat and address the root causes of vaccine hesitancy, and maintain high vaccination rates, Toronto Public Health has developed a comprehensive strategy that involves health care providers, parents, students, educators, and government agencies at the provincial and national levels, the report reads.

To respond to this growing threat and address the root causes of vaccine hesitancy, and maintain high vaccination rates, Toronto Public Health has developed a comprehensive strategy that involves health care providers, parents, students, educators, and government agencies at the provincial and national levels, the report reads.

In the report, de Villa said the board of health should ask the province to consider removing philosophical and religious exemptions under the Immunization of School Pupils Act and only allow medical exemptions completed by a certified health care provider.

Dont let kids skip vaccinations because of religious or philosophical objections, Ontario urged

Torontos medical officer of health said another way to help combat vaccine hesitancy is to change advertising standards in the country to prevent misinformation from circulating. She said would also like to see social media organizations and major search engines develop guidelines to help filter out misinformation.

The report states that when unscientific misinformation circulates, it puts vulnerable babies, cancer patients of all ages, and immune-compromised individuals at unnecessary and avoidable risk of serious complications, long-term disability, and the potential for death.

The report states that when unscientific misinformation circulates, it puts vulnerable babies, cancer patients of all ages, and immune-compromised individuals at unnecessary and avoidable risk of serious complications, long-term disability, and the potential for death.

The Post also published an article June 19 identifying an upper east side Manhattan hedge fund manager and his wife, Bernard and Lisa Selz, who have been donating millions of dollars to anti-vaccine campaigns carried on throughout the United States. The couple declined to discuss their activities and donations with the Post. Tax filings for the couples charitable foundation reveal they donated $200,000 to a legal fund for the disgraced and defrocked British former physician Andrew Wakefield.

Messages describing the scientifically-proven benefits of vaccines need to be protected and maintained in an environment where misinformation and hoaxes can spread rapidly and unchecked, negatively influencing parents and contributing to vaccine hesitancy, the report reads.

In 1998, Wakefield authored fraudulent claims that the MMR caused autism and colitis in a dozen children, reported in an article published in the Lancet medical journal. Afterwards, the journals editors, the British Medical Journal (BMJ), and the London Sunday Times determined that Wakefield had falsified the published findings for the children. The Lancet thereafter published a full retraction of the articles claims, explaining that Wakefield had lied to its editors about his data.

Legislating restrictions on anti-vaccine information has to be balanced with the Charter right to free speech that all Canadians enjoy.

Measles cases skyrocket

Another recommendation put forward in the report includes asking Health Canada to consider creating a Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which would support the few individuals who do suffer a serious side effect from a vaccine.

According to the report, approximately one out of one million to one out of 10 million doses administered result in serious reactions.

Torontos medical officer of health said another way to help combat vaccine hesitancy is to change advertising standards in the country to prevent misinformation from circulating. She said would also like to see social media organizations and major search engines develop guidelines to help filter out misinformation.

These types of compensation programs, which are government-funded, exist in 17 high-income countries but Quebec is the only province in Canada to establish one, the report states.

The report states that when unscientific misinformation circulates, it puts vulnerable babies, cancer patients of all ages, and immune-compromised individuals at unnecessary and avoidable risk of serious complications, long-term disability, and the potential for death.

Developing a vaccine injury compensation program in Ontario or nationally would strengthen vaccine acceptance, and provide strong ethical public health policy."

An innocent teen who was caught up in gunfire while running back inside to get his shoes died in his mothers arms while she applied pressure to a bullet hole in his head, a family friend said.

\”Vaccines are safe, effective and one of the most important contributors to improving health worldwide and preventing the spread of infectious diseases …,\” she wrote, adding that Toronto elementary and secondary schools have experienced a \”small, but steady increase in philosophical and religious exemptions, from 0.8% for the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in the 2006/07 school year to 1.72% in the 2018/19 school year\” — a trend seen provincially.

A report by Toronto’s medical officer of health is calling on the provincial Ministry of Health to scrap the philosophical and religious exemptions currently allowed for student vaccinations.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Up to 90 per cent of the people close to a person with measles will contract the illness if they have not been vaccinated or have not previously had the measles.

The World Health Organization identifies the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate, despite the availability of vaccines, as one of the top ten global health threats and a growing concern in this country.

“The next step is for the supplier of the vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline, to complete a documentation and quality assurance process. This includes ensuring, for example, that the vaccine hasnt gone outside of its cold chain temperature boundary while it was shipped.”

In Canada, it’s estimated that 20 per cent of parents have questions about vaccines and go to the internet looking for answers, instead of talking to their doctor.

Officials confirmed this afternoon that a new shipment of 52,000 vaccines had arrived and would being dispatched to areas which need it the most “as soon as possible.”

The report — requested by the Board of Health — recommends a number of strategies to respond to vaccine hesitancy that involves government agencies at the provincial and national level as well as healthcare providers, parents, educators and students.

“The vaccine has been unloaded from the plane and is on its way to the national store,” the ministrys National Health Coordination Centre (NHCC) said in a statement.

Along with removing exemptions, the report recommends asking major search engines and social media platforms to adopt measures to reduce misinformation about vaccines.

To respond to this growing threat and address the root causes of vaccine hesitancy, and maintain high vaccination rates, Toronto Public Health has developed a comprehensive strategy that involves health care providers, parents, students, educators, and government agencies at the provincial and national levels, the report reads.

Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen De Villa says research shows vaccine-hesitant parents are mainly concerned about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, and often have trouble identifying credible evidence-based information sources.

Torontos medical officer of health said another way to help combat vaccine hesitancy is to change advertising standards in the country to prevent misinformation from circulating. She said would also like to see social media organizations and major search engines develop guidelines to help filter out misinformation.

“An informed dialogue between parents and their child’s health care provider is critical for helping parents make decisions about their child’s vaccinations,” she said in a release. “This is why we are providing doctors and nurses with evidence-based vaccine information to help facilitate these important conversations.”

The report states that when unscientific misinformation circulates, it puts vulnerable babies, cancer patients of all ages, and immune-compromised individuals at unnecessary and avoidable risk of serious complications, long-term disability, and the potential for death.

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