OUR VIEW: Tracking immunization

We say: Many pre-school children missing their shots

Parents of babies and younger children have another job to put on their to-do list: get their child vaccinated.

But unlike the situation where dentists remind their patients every six months to get a teeth cleaning, there is no similar immunization reminder for parents except for those they set up for themselves.

And this is a problem.

Certainly, health authorities face challenges from immunization foes who fear that vaccinations may be dangerous or that mandatory vaccinations violate their rights or religious principles. But by far the biggest obstacle to greater participation rates is that people forget to get their child’s shots at 12 and 18 months. Once the parent returns to work or has another child, they can be too busy or distracted to make an appointment or they don’t understand how important it is. The vaccinations are free but It’s up to parents to keep track of this information either by mental notes, signing up for free text reminders or downloading the ImmunizeCA app to keep track.

By the time kids get into school, the process becomes easier because boosters are offered for children in Grades 6 and 9. Therefore, parents of younger children have to be diligent on following through on this task. For that to happen, they need to know that missing out on the 12 month vaccination, which includes the first dose of mmr [measles, mumps and rubella] vaccine to protect against measles, their children could be at risk for a vary serious disease and they could pass the illness on to some other child.

Although the disease has been virtually eradicated in Canada, there is still a chance of catching it from an unvaccinated visitor from overseas.

No one said raising a child would be easy and until a simpler way of immunizing non school aged kids is found, parents will have to take on this responsibility themselves.

– Black Press