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B.C. court rules in favour of dad seeking power to immunize his children – CTV News

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SALMON ARM —
A judge says the father of two boys has the right to ensure his children receive necessary immunizations and dental treatments, despite objections from the children’s mother.

B.C. provincial court Judge Stella Frame says the father should have sole responsibility for medical and dental treatments for his two young sons.

The boy’s parents, who are only identified by initials, ended their relationship around 2017. The father went to court after the mother refused consent for certain vaccinations and opposed dental x-rays, resulting in extensive dental work for the older boy.

During court proceedings, the mother offered a report from Dr. Toni Lynn Bark, an American who describes herself as an expert in the study of adverse vaccine reactions. In her judgment, Frame says Bark admits the field is unrecognized by medical professionals.

Frame instead accepts most of the material provided by the father, including two B.C. Supreme Court rulings. She says the father must keep the mother informed but is now responsible for all the boys’ medical and dental treatments.

Frame’s decision, delivered at the end of December, highlights the ongoing battle between those who support childhood vaccinations against infectious diseases, such as measles, mumps and whooping cough, and those who question vaccine safety.

In rejecting the mother’s submission of Bark’s report and the doctor’s qualification as an expert in what is called vaccine adversomics, Frame sides with public health officials, writing “the current best evidence is that vaccination is preferable to non-vaccination.”

“It is difficult to know whether this is junk science or a recognized emerging field,” Frame wrote of Bark’s report on adversomics, adding that the document sounds more “like a conspiracy theory” as it is presented.

Frame takes special aim at the report’s claim that targeted infectious diseases pose a low risk to the population, while vaccine trials produce a high number of adverse effects.

“One of the diseases that (Bark) claimed is very low risk to contract is measles. That is simply not the case,” Frame wrote.

Her judgment quotes from a 2012 B.C. Supreme Court decision examining the question of immunization. The ruling relied on expert Dr. David Scheifele, a leading B.C. pediatrician specializing in childhood diseases.

“If overall vaccination rates slip, infections previously held at bay can return to cause outbreaks among susceptible children and adults,” Scheifele testified, adding that measles or chicken pox infections are often worse in unvaccinated teens or adults.

In giving the father sole control of his boys’ medical and dental needs, Frame says both are healthy and active. They are also not among a small group of patients who should not be vaccinated due to weakened immune systems, illness or other issues, she added.

Vaccination of the majority is required in order to protect those who cannot be vaccinated, wrote Frame.

“Any adverse reaction the person may have from the vaccine is largely outweighed by the risk of contracting the targeted disease.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2020.

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Mouth wash test coming for school aged children in B.C. – CityNews Toronto

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British Columbia is introducing a new saline gargle test for students from kindergarten to Grade 12 to help make COVID-19 testing easier for children and teenagers.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said B.C. is one of the first places in the world to use a mouth rinse gargle test for the new coronavirus.

“Unlike the (nasal) swab, this is a new saline gargle where you put a little bit of saline water, that is sterile water, in your mouth, you swish it around and spit it into a little tube,” she said at a news conference Thursday.

“This test is kind of cool and something we’ve had in the works for a while. This new method is more comfortable, particularly for our younger children.”

It is developed by a B.C. company, which reduces the province’s dependency on the global supply chain, she said.

Henry described the test as more efficient, which shortens the long lineups and wait times.

Getting tested is key in the fight against the pandemic and the test will make it easier to collect samples from young people, she said.

The test can be done without a health professional by parents or children themselves.

With schools reopening, Henry said the focus of this new and “easier” method of testing will be on children until there are more supplies.

“And we’re hoping to make it more broadly available as we go forward.”

The province announced a record daily high of 165 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and one additional death, bringing the death toll to 220.

There has been a total of 7,663 cases of COVID-19 in the province.

The uptick is caused by a combination of increased testing, awareness and contact tracing, Henry said.

“Remember that today’s cases are people who have been exposed over the last two weeks.”

The province tested 7,674 people for COVID-19 on Wednesday, the highest number of COVID-19 tests ever conducted in B.C. in a single day.

Health Minister Adrian Dix reminded people to keep groups small and limit social gatherings.

“So, this weekend, and as we plan for Thanksgiving in the fall months ahead, let us once again close ranks on COVID-19, and change its course,” he said.

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VIDEO: BC to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids – Terrace Standard – Terrace Standard

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A new made-in-B.C. test will soon be available for children and youth to help make COVID-19 testing easier and more comfortable, the province’s top doctor has announced.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters Thursday (Sept. 18) that B.C. will be one of the first places in the world to implement a new saline gargle test to diagnose the novel coronavirus.

“Unlike the [nasal] swab, this is a new saline gargle where you put a little bit of saline water, that is sterile water, in your mouth, you swish it around and spit it into a little tube,” she explained.

ALSO READ: Health Canada reverses course, will review applications for COVID-19 home tests

“This test is kind of cool and something we’ve had in the works for a while. This new method is more comfortable, particularly for our younger children.”

Henry said the new alternative will soon be made available to health officials across the province, noting the test has some key benefits ahead of influenza season: it is more efficient and can be done without a doctor or nurse involved.

ALSO READ: Easier, quicker saliva sampling eyed for next stage of COVID-19 testing

Currently, the province has been using a nasal swab test – the gold standard for confirming if someone has COVID-19 – which involves putting a six-inch long Q-tip into the cavity between the nose and mouth for 15 seconds and then rotating it several times. A swab is repeated on the other side of the nose.

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For now, the test will be available for those aged four to 18.

The less-intrusive swab comes as B.C. sees an ongoing rise in daily COVID-19 cases. There have been a total 7,663 confirmed cases in B.C. since January.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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COVID-19 update: B.C. health officials to reveal how many cases were recorded over 24 hours – CTV News Vancouver

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VANCOUVER —
Health officials have confirmed 165 more cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia in the last 24 hours, marking a new high for a single-day period.

There are now 1,705 active cases of the coronavirus in B.C., provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in her first live briefing on the pandemic since Monday.

Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix also announced one additional death from the virus, and offered their condolences to the family and caregivers of the deceased.

Fifty-seven people are in hospital with the virus as of Thursday, including 22 who are in intensive care.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 7,663 total cases of COVID-19 in B.C. and 220 deaths, while 5,719 people have recovered.

Henry and Dix also announced two more outbreaks of the coronavirus at hospital acute care units in the Fraser Health region

Fraser Health announced an outbreak at Delta Hospital on Wednesday, saying two patients in a single unit at the facility had tested positive for the virus. The other outbreak announced Thursday is in a rehabilitation unit at Peace Arch Hospital, Henry said.

With B.C.’s active caseload reaching another new all-time high, Henry took aim at social gatherings, which health officials say have been responsible for much of the transmission of the virus in recent weeks.

The provincial health officer reiterated the importance of her order limiting gatherings to a maximum of 50 people, but also stressed that 50 is an upper limit and not inherently safe. Physical distancing must still be maintained during such gatherings, she said.

“It needs to be scaled down based on the space that you are in, and I need everybody to understand that now,” Henry said. “Just because you can fit 50 people into your small back garden does not make it safe.”

She added that she feels sympathy for people who are frustrated by the restrictions still being placed on them to slow the spread of COVID-19, particularly young people. At the same time, however, the consequences of gathering in close proximity with large numbers of people – whether all at once or in several small groups on consecutive nights – are being seen with the continued growth in the number of cases and outbreaks in B.C., Henry said.

“As we’ve seen, many businesses are only able to safely accommodate a few people, and the same applies for our homes, inside and outside, regardless of our location,” she said. “When we’re socializing with others, smaller is always safer.”

While urging people to limit their social gatherings, Henry also noted that health officials have mostly been able to stay on top of transmission events in the province. She said the record number of new cases announced Thursday consisted mostly of cases in which people who were being monitored by public health officials developed symptoms and were tested.

She also attributed the high number of new cases detected, in part, to an increase in the number of tests the province has been conducting. British Columbia tested 7,674 people for COVID-19 on Wednesday, which is the highest number of tests ever conducted in the province in a single day, according to Dix.

A total of 2,949 people in B.C. are under public health monitoring because of their proximity to confirmed cases of COVID-19, Henry said Thursday.

Since the pandemic began, the vast majority of B.C.’s cases have been located in the Lower Mainland. That includes 3,937 documented cases in the Fraser Health region and 2,714 in Vancouver Coastal Health.

Elsewhere in the province, there have been 489 cases in Interior Health, 241 in Northern Health and 196 in Island Health.

Eighty-six people who reside outside Canada are also included in B.C.’s total case count.

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