Petitions in pharmacies will help demonstrate public support
Eric Lee from Clair, NB who has collected 300 signatures in support of the proposed legislation.
The New Brunswick Pharmacists’ Association strongly supports proposed legislative changes that remove non-medical exemptions from the immunization requirements for public schools and licenced early childhood facilities.
“The recent measles outbreak in our province is over now, but that does not mean we should not remain vigilant and do everything we can to help prevent another one,” says Christine Boudreau, President of the New Brunswick Pharmacists’ Association (NBPA) and a pharmacist in Dieppe. “In 2017/18, only 76.4% of children entering kindergarten had met immunization requirements. That’s not high enough and puts everyone at risk. Tightening the immunization requirements for children in public schools and licenced daycares is an important part of helping to protect New Brunswickers from preventable, serious diseases such as measles and whooping cough.”
Pharmacists have begun gathering support for stricter immunization requirements by placing petitions in some pharmacies. The NBPA will present the petitions to MLAs later this year when the Law Amendments Committee meets to debate the proposed legislation.
“Vaccines are safe. Immunization is best tool we have to protect the population against many life-threatening diseases,” says Boudreau. “Immunization saves more lives than any other health intervention. As more people are immunized, the risk of disease is reduced for everyone, including those who can’t get vaccinated due to a medical condition.”
Boudreau said it’s also important to note that continued public education is needed to address the issue of vaccine hesitancy in New Brunswick. Making it easier for people to access vaccinations would help increase immunization rates as well, she added.
“The outbreak is over, but I urge New Brunswickers to ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date, and I encourage them to show their support for mandatory immunizations in public schools and licenced daycares by signing a petition at their participating pharmacies,” says Boudreau.
For more information, please contact:
New Brunswick Pharmacists’ Association