British Columbia approves pilot program that provides fees to people who need vaccines

The government of British Columbia has launched a new travel card program allowing B.C. residents to travel with the program for $59. This move follows an October 2016 announcement of a fully-funded mandatory vaccine…

British Columbia approves pilot program that provides fees to people who need vaccines

The government of British Columbia has launched a new travel card program allowing B.C. residents to travel with the program for $59. This move follows an October 2016 announcement of a fully-funded mandatory vaccine program, which aims to halt the spread of illnesses like measles and mumps, as well as the introduction of an electronic health record system.

This card also provides the option of having immunizations — as well as getting medical and prescription drugs — on the same card, where before, they were separated into different cards, according to a report in Time magazine. The program will be offered to all British Columbians, regardless of income, and will reportedly provide exemptions for vaccine refusal where the parent or guardian of the child signs a declaration stating the exemption is based on personal religious beliefs or medical personal beliefs, and also offers a waiver.

The program requires proof of vaccinations and identification, which can be obtained using a printed copy of the parents’ or guardians’ birth certificate or a provincial health card. A doctor will then check the vaccinations to ensure that they are acceptable under current provincial health regulations and will provide a written certification of the child’s vaccinations, according to a report in the Vancouver Sun. The cards are then stamped and it is suggested that they be kept secure and not shared with others.

“B.C. is doing its part to protect our communities,” Province Health Minister Adrian Dix said at a Vancouver news conference.

At the moment, the program is being offered only in select areas of B.C., but Vancouver alone features 19 health agencies. People will be able to get their cards once they have a health authority card which matches their residency profile. Those with immunization cards from other jurisdictions will be allowed to keep them. The cards will also be able to access resident services including medical services, but will not be allowed to get into hospitals and ERs.

More information about the program and which health agencies offer the cards can be found here.

Read the full story at Time.

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