Government rejects mandatory choice for childhood vaccines, puts student safety at risk

EDMONTON, AB (March 12, 2015): Dr. David Swann says the government is ignoring basic science and public safety warnings by refusing to require parents to vaccinate or make an informed choice and sign a waiver for a child entering the public school system in Alberta.

In Question Period this week, Swann repeatedly asked the ministers of education and health why they have yet to mandate proof of immunizations or approved exemptions before students can enroll in school. This is the case in all American states and three Canadian provinces. At first, the ministers said they were still consulting, but, today, Health Minister Stephen Mandel admitted his government would not make vaccines mandatory.

“Saving lives and protecting people’s health is a rather straight forward question,” says Swann. “We have laws about seatbelts to protect drivers and passengers, why on earth would we not ensure protection of children from preventable diseases?”

The failure of individuals to get vaccinated contributed to outbreaks of measles and whooping cough last year.

“This is about the safety of Alberta’s students. The government says they recognize that vaccines save lives, but they don’t intend to ensure lives are saved?”