Working Lunch: How Ontario schools are achieving measles, mumps and rubella vaccination

MOMENTS AGO: Here’s another update on the progress of vaccinations in Ontario, as I’ve been conducting on Ontario’s school children and in Ontario schools, beginning in the first month of the year. Just last…

Working Lunch: How Ontario schools are achieving measles, mumps and rubella vaccination

MOMENTS AGO: Here’s another update on the progress of vaccinations in Ontario, as I’ve been conducting on Ontario’s school children and in Ontario schools, beginning in the first month of the year. Just last week, this paper laid out some of the stats on a new round of booster shots.

We’re tracking a number of trends in the fall-to-spring cycles of school vaccination rates, of course, but we’re seeing some interesting results in one particular category: getting the full, full dose of the vaccine into the children’s first year of school, where they’re immediately exposed to many more bacteria.

See the story for some of the data, which just inked in a plateau, though at a very low level. Now, we’re keeping the heat on with a look at who’s still vaccinated, or who’s yet to get the series of shots. (A lot of Alberta parents feel that there should be some room to tinker with their children’s vaccine schedules, as there is in Canada — Alberta’s child health minister recently told The Epoch Times she doesn’t want to “bend the standards to conform to our daycare sector.”) This is just part of the Ontario timeline, but you can see the ongoing changes on the same page.

And, note that the numbers include children who are in fact still getting the full dose of one of the vaccines.

We can see that, year by year, the uptake of all the vaccines tends to go down, or at least sideways.

This despite the fact that the uptake tends to go up for the regular measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine after it’s aced the full year.

It starts in the early months of the school year, when kids are a little lost and are less likely to be diligent about vaccinations, when more are in public bathrooms and higher numbers are wandering around unvaccinated and circulating among the ranks of other children.

And, look how it stacks up, year by year, in the 10,000-plus schools with at least 25 enrolments in their last enrollment in 2016, using data provided by the provincial government.

By the numbers, only a tiny proportion of the children in these schools have gotten all three of the rubella shots, which is under the program’s target of 95 percent.

And, note that, year after year, the percentage of children who are vaccinated decreases and then stabilizes (and the kids who are vaccinated become immunized for measles and mumps, the two diseases the Ontario government aims to protect against with its new immunization program).

In 2016, a mere 4 percent of kids in the school were fully vaccinated; in 2017, 5 percent of students were fully immunized; by 2018, it was 6 percent.

As I wrote in my last post, we’re working on a group of follow-up updates on how we’re measuring the progress in this public health effort.

Stay tuned for that.

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