Parents who don’t get their children vaccinated for measles risk boosting the spread of the “dangerous” disease, Health Minister Eric Hoskins said Monday after Toronto reported four cases.
“It underscores the importance of continuing to work hard” to make sure kids get their shots, Hoskins told reporters.
Aside from protecting individuals, vaccinations create a “herd immunity,” said the health minister, a physician who did his doctoral thesis on measles vaccinations at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
“Parents really need to look at the evidence. . . we need to continue to educate the population,” he added.
“There are gains that can be made.”
While vaccinations are required for kids to attend school, there are exceptions based on religious and other reasons, Hoskins noted.
“We’ll never get to 100 per cent,” he said in reference to a vaccination rate that is at a “high level” in the province.
An exact figure was not immediately available.
Measles has been spreading rapidly in the United States this winter.