February 5, 2020
BC Ministry of Education
PO Box 9179, Stn Prov Govt,
Victoria BC V8W 9H8
To the Attention of: Scott MacDonald, Deputy Minister
Re: Vaccine Misinformation
Dear Mr. MacDonald
It has come to our attention that the following memo was disseminated from your office:
Date: January 24, 2020
Title: Vaccine Misinformation
It has come to the Ministry’s attention that an anti-vaccine advocacy group called Vaccine Choice Canada (VCC) has sent a package to your offices with concerning misinformation on the important vaccines publicly provided to protect children in B.C. In addition, this package contains misinformation on the new mandatory vaccination reporting regulation in B.C. Beginning on the next page of this document please find factual information from the Provincial Health Officer on immunization and links to trustworthy sources of information that addresses the concerns raised by VCC.
B.C. has a comprehensive provincial childhood immunization program, which includes coverage for a wide variety of diseases including measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, pertussis, polio, HPV, varicella, diphtheria, influenza, meningococcal disease and hepatitis.
Documenting students’ current vaccination status and encouraging full immunization of school-age children is a priority for our public health system. On July 1, 2019, B.C.’s new Vaccination Status Reporting Regulation (the Regulation) came into force. Improving documentation of vaccination status will enable public health staff to identify under- and un-immunized students, and respond quickly to protect children if there is an outbreak (e.g., measles outbreaks experienced this past year).
Immunization is one of the most important and effective ways we protect our children and our communities. Please visit the ImmunizeBC.ca website if you have questions or concerns about immunization programs in B.C.
In the memo you make the claim that Vaccine Choice Canada shared information that is “misinformation” about vaccines as well as pertaining to the new mandatory vaccination reporting regulations in BC.
We would very much appreciate being made aware of the information that is incorrect or inaccurate, as well as the corrected information with references so that we can maintain a high level of accuracy and integrity in our efforts to educate the public about vaccine safety, effectiveness and necessity.
Vaccine Choice Canada is dedicated to protecting the right of citizens to voluntary and informed consent. It is important to us that we disseminate only evidence-based information pertaining to vaccine safety, effectiveness and necessity.
Any information you can provide us to ensure that our materials are accurate and up-to-date is very much appreciated.
I look forward to your considered response.
Ted Kuntz, President
Vaccine Choice Canada
Rob Fleming, Minister of Education
Premier John Horgan
Printable PDF here.