(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

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Port McNeill council discusses ‘bear aware’ and what you can do to stay safe

Port McNeill’s Conservation Officer Brad Adams gave a presentation about being ‘bear aware’.

Port Hardy RCMP release tips to prevent fraud and theft from vehicles

In many of the incidents reported, “the vehicles that were broken into were unlocked.”

Stranded hikers rescued by helicopter on Mt. Schoen

Campbell River Search and Rescue used hoist operation to rescue trio

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

$5-million lotto ticket sold in Nanaimo

Someone matched all six numbers in Wednesday’s 6/49 draw

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

Most Read