Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose announces new regulations aimed at pharmaceutical companies during a news conference at Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver

Get your kids vaccinated: Canada’s health minister

Get your kids vaccinated to protect them and other people's kids:health minister

  • Feb. 10, 2015 10:00 a.m.

By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER – The federal health minister says she can’t help but get emotional over some parents’ decision not to get their children vaccinated against infectious diseases.

“I find it really irresponsible,” Rona Ambrose said Tuesday, adding anyone who believes a debunked and fraudulent 1990s study linking vaccines to autism should speak to their doctor.

Ambrose said measles in particular is an incredibly infectious disease and parents who refuse to get their kids immunized are putting other children at risk.

“If you don’t immunize your child and you send them to school potentially ill or exposed another child who may be more vulnerable than your own is at even a greater risk and that’s what concerns me the most,” she told an unrelated news conference.

She called vaccines miracles of modern medicine that save lives.

Ambrose said Canada spends billions of dollars on vaccines for children around the world but educated Canadians who won’t allow their kids to be immunized through a publicly funded program are making the wrong decision.

The minister was speaking out after Manitoba officials reported Tuesday that an infant had been diagnosed with measles and was resting at home. Ambrose was in Vancouver to announce that pharmaceutical companies will now be required to post drug shortages on a new website.

Manitoba’s chief public health officer said the measles case appeared to linked to travel to India, not exposure to the virus in Manitoba.

Last year, Manitoba saw its worst outbreak of measles in decades, with nine cases. Public health officials said the disease hadn’t surfaced for several years before that.

Officials in Toronto have also reported several cases of measles, which appear to have been locally transmitted after numerous children became infected with the disease in Disneyland.

Symptoms of measles include a rash, runny nose and cough, as well as more serious complications such as deafness and brain damage.

Just Posted

South Okanagan pays it forward to BC Wildfire Service firefighters

Community members thank Eagle Bluff firefighters through Tim Hortons donations

Penticton students receive over $46,000 in bursaries

Twenty-two students will receive the Community Foundation bursaries for the 2019 school-year

Lake-to-lake cycling route to be discussed at Pedal Penticton

City staff to discuss the route but there will also be a number of exhibits for attendees to explore

The Offspring and Sum41 ready to rock Penticton

The Offspring and Sum 41 will stop in Penticton to the South Okanagan Events Centre

Motorcyclist involved in Westside Road crash

Air ambulance assists while motorists face lengthy delays

Knife-wielding man tries to break into Okanagan retirement home

Seniors and staff shaken by incident and upset with RCMP response

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan dog ‘Alice’ to get surgery thanks to BC SPCA crowdfunding

With the surgery, Alice’s prognosis is ‘excellent,’ stated the BC SPCA

Suspicious item forces 47 to evacuate plane at Kelowna airport

Kelowna RCMP continue investigation of suspicious item on airplane

Kelowna man nearly drowns on Okanagan Lake

The victim is in serious yet stable condition but his condition has worsened since going to hospital

Okanagan youth protest Tolko logging

Small group gathers outside Tolko head office

Kelowna International Airport threat deemed non-credible

Normal operations have resumed following note of a suspicious item on board a WestJet plane

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Most Read