Doctors support call for end to non-medical exemption for vaccinations
Doctors of BC Post, August 2016
Doctors attending the Canadian Medical Association General Council in Vancouver voted to support a Doctors of BC motion to end non-medical exemptions that allow parents in some provinces to opt out of vaccinating their children.
This means the national group representing physicians will advocate for an end to these exemptions in provinces that have mandatory vaccinations laws. Those provinces are Ontario, Manitoba and New Brunswick.
After rigorous debate on the need to balance personal freedom and the ability to protect vulnerable children and adults, 58% of the 600 physicians in the room voted in favour of BC’s motion brought forward by Dr Tommy Gerschman, board member of Doctors of BC and a member of the BC caucus to the GC.
Dr Gerschman told CKNW’s Simi Sara that whole purpose of mandatory vaccination laws is defeated when parents are allowed to opt out because of philosophical or religious beliefs. He said that in places where these non-medical exemptions are allowed, the rate of vaccination is lower.
“I think it’s something that legislators can use,” Dr Gerschman told CKNW. “They can look to us as one of the major medical bodies in Canada. And so when they’re discussing legislation about what to allow and what not to allow, they have a clear stance now that they can fall back on.”
In B.C., vaccinations are not mandatory.
To listen to Dr Gerschman’s full interview with Simi Sara on CKNW, click here.