Canadians of any age can now obtain a certificate showing that they have had at least two doses of the recommended measles vaccine in order to get an international travel permit for travel to areas with high immunization rates. The new practice is in effect even for international travelers who already have a consular health certificate recognizing a vaccination action plan.
People who may not have had two doses of the MMR vaccine have been advised by Health Canada to get vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), whooping cough (pertussis), and Hib (hemophilus influenzae type b) when the vaccine is recommended. Last year, a total of 6,916 measles cases were reported worldwide, of which 1,311 were in Canada. Health Canada stresses that the vaccine can provide health benefits even if a person has not had two doses of the vaccine. Also of note, the MMR vaccine protects against five illnesses — measles, mumps, rubella, and tetanus.
Other countries have issued similar policies and travel advice. In the U.S., Department of State officials require a health certificate to travel abroad without a high-risk individual health certificate and requires children to have received two doses of the MMR vaccine, both in school and at home, in order to get permission to travel internationally. Some American lawmakers have suggested that the vaccine cause autism. Last week, despite the recommended vaccination practices, there were two suspected measles cases in downtown Vancouver. According to The Vancouver Sun, a fourth suspected case was confirmed, and the two who were originally reported were now considered to be measles cases. “It’s unusual to have four cases, especially with the low vaccination rates in many parts of the world. We just don’t know when or where this outbreak will happen next,” said Dr. Peter Handyside, head of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
Read the full story at The Huffington Post.
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