Edmonton Catholic school board pushes for mandatory vaccinations for students

WATCH ABOVE: The Edmonton Catholic School board is calling for mandatory student vaccinations. As Julia Wong explains, the ECSB unanimously passed motion to urge the province to make vaccinations non-negotiable in an attempt to push back to the anti-vaccination movement.

A motion urging the provincial government to make vaccinations mandatory for children in Alberta schools passed unanimously at the Edmonton Catholic Schools’ board meeting Tuesday.

Trustee Marilyn Bergstra put forward the motion asking that the board lobby the government to make vaccinations mandatory for all students in the public education system.

She believes vaccinations should be mandatory for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps and rubella.








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“In extreme cases, whereby a medical doctor has advised that it is in a student’s best interest to forego vaccination on the grounds of medical complications, exclusion may be applicable,” Berstra wrote in a motion that will be presented to the Catholic school board Tuesday afternoon.

“For example, while undergoing cancer treatment.”

READ MORE: Alberta father calls for mandatory vaccinations after son exposed to measles

Bergstra cited a number of reasons for her action, including an increase in the number of cases of measles worldwide. She said outbreaks of other preventable diseases have also occurred this year in Canada.

“This includes, but is certainly not limited to, a whooping cough outbreak in both Manitoba and Alberta as well as multiple cases of mumps within Edmonton Health Region,” Bergstra wrote. “These vaccine preventable cases are the direct result of drops in vaccination rates within the population.”

READ MORE: Deadly measles outbreak spreads in Europe as vaccinations fall

“As most of these diseases are highly infectious, schools are optimal breeding grounds for epidemic level outbreaks. Couple this with the growing trend to not vaccinate; hence a loss of herd resistance within the localized population, and we can logically conclude that our students are increasingly at risk.”

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READ MORE: Mumps outbreak declared in Edmonton area

Bergstra said tremendous financial costs are associated with the standard outbreak investigation practice and follow-up quarantine measures.

In Ontario and New Brunswick, students are required to be immunized for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps and rubella. However, there are some exemptions.