(Black Press Media files)

Mistrust, lack of info holding back Canadians getting vaccinated: B.C. pharmacist

11 per cent of B.C. adults say their trust in vaccinations have decreased in the past year

As recent measles scares have led the province to bring in a mandatory vaccine registry for children, B.C.’s pharmacists are hoping to make sure adults are keeping vaccinated too.

Rashin Mandegarian, a Vancouver-based pharmacist with Shoppers Drug Mart said recent studies show only 3 per cent of Canadian adults are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

“Mistrust is one of the main reasons people don’t vaccinate,” Mandegarian told Black Press Media by phone.

“And 11 per cent of B.C. adults say their trust in vaccinations has decreased in the past year.”

Mandegarian points to the recent attention given to the anti-vax movement as a key reason for the distrust, noting that although there’s no scientific proof that vaccines can be dangerous, misinformation can sow mistrust.

READ MORE: B.C. launches mandatory vaccine registry for schoolchildren

Pharmacists in B.C. can administer vaccines, and Mandegarian hears a lot of questions and concerns in her day-to-day.

“About 30 per cent of people believe that vaccine can result in sickening side affects,” she said.

“But vaccines cannot make you sick, you cannot get a disease.”

Most vaccines don’t contain a live copy of the virus, Mandegarian said, and even in those that do “the virus is severely weakened so there is just enough to trigger an immune response.”

She said that even among British Columbians who aren’t specifically concerned about vaccines, many think it’s a “one and done” situation.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“It’s a common misconception a childhood vaccination lasts a lifetime but it is really important to receive a booster shot for diseases like tetanus and diphtheria.”

In B.C., the two vaccines are given together and the government recommends a booster shot every 10 years.

Although immunization records can be difficult to find, Mandegarian points out that an extra vaccine or a booster shot is never harmful.

READ MORE: B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Two killed in two-vehicle crash on Highway 1

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Your weekly Mountain Minute

This week’s top stories… Continue reading

Highway 1 closed to due fatal accident east of Revelstoke

A dump truck lost control and the driver was ejected

Turning Back the Pages: Donald was a happening place before the fire

By Colleen Palumbo Recently, the Golden Museum came into possession of a… Continue reading

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read