BRITISH COLUMBIA
04/30/2014 04:06 EDT | Updated 04/30/2014 04:59 EDT

Vaccinations Should Be Mandatory In B.C. Public Schools: Parents

A group of Vancouver parents want vaccinations to be required for kids in British Columbia's public schools.

The parents have started a change.org petition asking that the province make childhood shots "mandatory for public school enrollment except with medical, religious or philosophical exemptions."

The petition says B.C. should follow Ontario's example and require that students be vaccinated in order to enroll and attend B.C. public schools:

As of right now schools do not ask if your child is vaccinated. Which means they have no idea how many are covered in their school. This could be a risk to someone with immune system issues (A child going through cancer treatment, a organ donor recipient, and other reasons.) With this passing there would be accurate information for parents to know how safe their immune compromised child is at that particular school. They may decide to change schools or home school based on this information. It also keeps the unvaccinated kids safe during an outbreak.

But Dr. Perry Kendall, B.C.'s chief public health officer, told The Province he would not recommend the program.

I certainly support the intentions of the petition but I don’t think making vaccinations mandatory is a way to achieve that aim,” he said.

A measles outbreak hit B.C. this season with over 400 reported cases, while Alberta is currently in the middle of a measles outbreak.

The Fraser Health Authority says children under five years old are the most at risk of serious disease and need to be vaccinated.

As of Wednesday, the petition had collected over 350 signatures.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Like this article? Follow our Facebook page

Or follow us on Twitter

Also on HuffPost

10 Places With Measles or Other Outbreaks