Interior Health encourages child vaccination

Particular concern right now is the potential spread of pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

  • May. 1, 2016 11:00 a.m.

Interior Health is reminding parents and caregivers to make sure their children’s immunizations are up to date. This timely reminder comes as pertussis cases continue to occur in several Interior Health communities.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a serious infection of the lungs and throat. Pertussis can affect individuals of any age; however, its effects are most severe among infants who are too young to be fully immunized.

“Pertussis starts with symptoms similar to the common cold – a runny nose, sore throat and a mild fever. It then progresses to a cough that can become severe. In some cases, the cough may include the classic whooping sound and it may be accompanied by gasping, gagging, shortness of breath and vomiting,” said Dr. Silvina Mema, Medical Health Officer with Interior Health. “Young infants are at highest risk of complications, which include pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and even death.”

Immunization is the best way to prevent the spread of pertussis. The vaccine is part of BC’s routine childhood immunization schedule. A complete series consists of three doses of pertussis vaccine at 2, 4, and 6 months followed by boosters at 18 months old and at 4-6 years of age (Kindergarten). Because immunity to pertussis from childhood vaccines wanes over time, it is also recommended that a booster is given at 14 to 16 years of age (Grade 9).

“The BC Immunization Schedule is based on scientific evidence. It has been developed to protect children from getting diseases at the times when they are most at risk,” added Dr. Mema. “Because of this it is very important that children are up to date with their immunizations.”

Nick Robinson, a father of two boys believes strongly that getting his children immunized is an important part of being a parent and a community member.

“I believe everyone has a role to play to protect the community from vaccine preventable diseases and outbreaks,” said Robinson. “I think there is a tendency for people to question immunization because they think the natural ways are safer but that’s not always the case. Polio is natural, death from measles is natural – any risks from vaccinations are tiny by comparison. As parents, we have paid close attention to the evidence; for us, it was a no-brainer to give our kids all the recommended vaccines on time.”

High immunization rates are the key to preventing diseases like pertussis from affecting our communities. When most people are vaccinated for a disease, it makes it harder for the disease to spread from person to person. This is known as “herd immunity”, which helps ensure those who are most vulnerable to diseases are protected. In Interior Health, 68 per cent of children are fully up to date with all the recommended immunizations by two years of age.

For more information on immunization:

·  Call your local public health centre. To find a health centre near you visit the website: http://www.interiorhealth.ca

·  Read our immunization page :  http://www.interiorhealth.ca/YourHealth/Immunization/Pages/default.aspx.

 

Just Posted

Missing Kelowna woman, Cassy Miller found dead

Miller went missing Nov. 6 and was found 10 days later

Crash closes Highway 33 south of Kelowna

Estimated time of re-opening is 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18

Beat the Mondays: Trapped in Bali? Lessons learned from an erupting volcano

Gina Petrovich is a travel writer for the Kelowna Capital News

Kelowna’s definitive Christmas market list

We’ve prepared a list of every market in the Central Okanagan

Your guide to winter light ups around the Okanagan

From Vernon to Summerland, with a stop in Kelowna, we’ve found some activities for you to enjoy

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

South region forestry workers nearly in legal strike position

Talks broke down between USW and IFLRA, resulting in booking out of provincial mediator

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Most Read