Vancouver Coastal Health confirmed Wednesday that more than half of the people ordered to stay home during the recent measles outbreak at two local schools had not previously been immunized.
Symptoms of measles include fever, reddening of the eyes, cough and colds, and red rashes, the agency added.
"At this time there are no lab-confirmed cases of Measles on Vancouver Island", said the organization on Facebook.
Following the recent outbreak of measles in the US, a leading government health official is calling for mandatory vaccinations of children.
Data from Vancouver Coastal Health show that measles immunization rates of kindergarten students at Metro Vancouver schools fall short of that mark. The disease can also be fatal.
"The change in immunization schedule may have resulted in fewer opportunities to provide the second dose of MMR containing vaccine prior to the seventh birthday, explaining the drop in measles and mumps coverage in 2018", says the report.
Measles, caused by a virus that infects the respiratory tract, can be passed through direct contact and through the air.
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Some people can not be vaccinated, including infants under six months of age, people with certain underlying health conditions and those undergoing chemotherapy - meaning they must rely on high levels of immunity within their communities to prevent infection with the virus.
But with preventable diseases like measles popping up with new force - especially in states with widespread vaccine exemptions, such as Washington - Gottlieb told Axios that the federal government may have to step in.
Dix said Ontario's system makes it more hard for those eligible for vaccination to miss getting their shots - and he wants to see B.C. with a similar model.
Meanwhile Thursday, a petition calling on the B.C. government to make it mandatory for children attending public schools to be vaccinated - except for medical-based reasons - reached nearly 35,500 signatures on the website change.org.
"I'm not forcing anybody to get vaccinated if they don't want to vaccinate", she said in an interview.
The vast majority of cases in Clark County have occurred among unvaccinated children, prompting state lawmakers to consider legislation tightening vaccine requirements as the outbreak has continued to spread. "But I think we can do more".
"Traditionally, school entry requirements have been the role of the states, so there might be a constitutional challenge if the federal government tried to mandate by law those school requirements", he said.