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B.C. dad wins court battle to immunize sons; mother upset with ruling – Global News

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A B.C. father of two young boys now has the right to have them immunized following a year-long court battle with the children’s mother regarding vaccinations.

In late December, in Salmon Arm, a B.C. judge ruled that the father should have sole responsibility for medical and dental treatments for his two young sons.

The father and mother ended their relationship approximately two-and-a-half years ago. 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.


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Interior measles vaccination rates still below target following catch-up campaign

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, Stella Frame says Bark admits the field is unrecognized by medical professionals.

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Judge Frame instead accepted most of the material provided by the father, including two B.C. Supreme Court rulings. She said 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.

On Thursday, Global News contacted the father and mother. For privacy concerns, Global News isn’t disclosing any names.






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Anti-vaccination activist charged in Samoa, amid measles outbreak


Anti-vaccination activist charged in Samoa, amid measles outbreak

Asked about the case, the father said he and his former partner “never came to an agreement on which way we were going to go [regarding vaccinations].

“The communication for the vaccination side of it, there was none. And it came to a point where I said to myself, ‘I’d like to get them vaccinated.’”

The father said he talked to Interior Health and was informed that the mother had placed a notice on the children stating she was against vaccinations.

“[Interior Health] would not vaccinate without either A) us agreeing to get them both vaccinated in writing, or B) have a court order,” he said.

“Once I found that out, I knew we weren’t going to agree, so I knew the only route was going to be going to court and seeing if we could settle.”

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The mother, in an emotional call, said she’s “not OK” with the ruling.

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The mother said “both parents should do it together,” while also telling Global News she did not have legal representation and asked twice to have the case adjourned so she could find a lawyer.






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Importance of getting a flu shot


Importance of getting a flu shot

The mother said she fears she’s being made out to be a negligent parent.

“We have two different opinions,” she told Global News. “He feels he’s protecting his boys one way and I feel I’m protecting our boys the other way.

“Like it said in the court case, I’m not opposed. I just want to be overly cautious and this whole war on anti (vaccine) … it’s ridiculous.

“I feel it’s the biggest form of bullying that’s going on right now.”

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“Why don’t people do all these tests just to make absolutely sure that there’s not going to be a problem and do preservative-free vaccines? Things can go wrong.”

Global News asked if she plans to appeal the decision, but was told she’s not at liberty to discuss this at this time.

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.”

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“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.






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Mandatory immunization reporting begins


Mandatory immunization reporting begins

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 chickenpox 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.

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0:29
Son of anti-vaxxer mother says school saw him as ‘health risk’


Son of anti-vaxxer mother says school saw him as ‘health risk’

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.”

The father added his former wife is a great mother to their children, and that they’re always safe, but that “the biggest thing I wanted out of this was to get them vaccinated.”

The father said he was somewhat surprised by the court granting him medical responsibility, stating he originally thought about applying for that but chose not too upon legal advice.

“I feel as a parent, having joint custody, that my view on (vaccinations) should have been taken into account as well as hers,” he said. “Really, if you’re an anti-vaxxer and you say something to Interior Health, nothing will be done.

“I think that’s completely backwards. I think if you don’t want to have them vaccinated, you should have to fight for that. You shouldn’t have to fight to have them vaccinated.”

The father plans on having the children vaccinated soon, while the mother said she doesn’t know what’s going to happen.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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‘I was shocked’: Mother, child mistakenly given COVID-19 vaccine instead of flu shot – Comox Valley Record

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A Manitoba mother says a routine appointment for her and her three-year-old to get flu shots ended in frustration and mixed messages after they were each mistakenly given an adult dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Jenna Bardarson is calling for policy changes at the province’s vaccination centres to make sure that doesn’t happen to another family.

The shots were administered on Nov. 24 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.

Bardarson says that shortly after she and her daughter, Dali, got their shots, the health worker who had given them excused herself to speak with a supervisor. When the worker returned, she told them she had made a mistake and given them both the adult Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

“I was shocked. I didn’t know what to say. My immediate concerns were, of course, would my daughter be OK and also who could I speak to about this,” Bardarson said in online social media messages Friday to The Canadian Press.

Once she got home, Bardarson made multiple calls to different departments with the regional medical authority, hoping to speak with someone about the error and her concerns, she said.

She said no one was able to provide her with the answers or information she needed. “The conversations with various Prairie Mountain Health members have been frustrating, to say the least.”

Bardarson said she already had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and was due for her booster shot next month. Her daughter is too young to be eligible.

Health Canada last month approved a pediatric version of the Pfizer shot for children ages five to 11, but it has not yet approved a vaccine for those under five.

Bardarson said she and her daughter had headaches and sore arms the following day. Her daughter had no appetite and was throwing up.

Manitoba Health confirmed the mistake in a statement and said staff from Prairie Mountain have reached out to the mother to discuss what happened as well as to provide an update on an investigation.

“Patient safety is a critical aspect of all health-care services in Manitoba. We are constantly reviewing our processes to ensure that our systems support our staff in preventing errors,” it said.

“In this case … our team reviewed the existing processes to make adjustments that would help avoid a similar error from occurring in the future.”

Bardarson said the health region has not provided her with updated information on the investigation and would not discuss any consequences the health worker may have faced.

Manitoba Health said no further action would be taken against the worker, because she immediately recognized the error and told a supervisor.

For Bardarson, that’s not enough.

“I by no means want her fired; however, there should be some sort of measures in place for harm reduction.”

Bardarson suggested taking away the worker’s injection privileges or enhanced supervision during vaccinations.

She said she would also like to see areas at vaccination centres separated by vaccine types, instead of having different vaccines offered in the same booth.

Manitoba Health could not say if others have been given a COVID-19 vaccine by mistake, but acknowledged that medication errors, although rare, do occur. It added that Bardarson was provided with information about the risks of the COVID-19 vaccine, which in this case it says are low.

Health Canada said it is not in charge of immunization monitoring and could not comment on whether similar mistakes have occurred in other parts of the country.

– Brittany Hobson, The Canadian Press

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Two hippos in Belgian zoo test positive for COVID-19

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Two hippos have tested positive for COVID-19 at Antwerp Zoo in Belgium in what could be the first reported cases in the species, zoo staff said.

Hippos Imani, aged 14, and 41-year-old Hermien have no symptoms apart from a runny nose, but the zoo said the pair had been put into quarantine as a precaution.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time in this species. Worldwide, this virus has been reported mainly in great apes and felines,” said the zoo’s vet, Francis Vercammen.

The coronavirus is thought to have jumped from an animal to a human, and it is proved to have passed from humans to animals.

Pets including cats, dogs and ferrets have become infected following contact with their owners, while in zoos, cases have been reported in animals such as big cats, otters, primates and hyenas.

The disease has also spread in mink farms and to wild animals, such as deer.

Antwerp Zoo is investigating the causes of the contagion. None of the zookeepers had recently shown COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive for the virus, the zoo said.

 

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Helen Popper)

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'I was shocked': Mother, child mistakenly given COVID-19 vaccine instead of flu shot – Squamish Chief

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WINNIPEG — A Manitoba mother says a routine appointment for her and her three-year-old to get flu shots ended in frustration and mixed messages after they were each mistakenly given an adult dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Jenna Bardarson is calling for policy changes at the province’s vaccination centres to make sure that doesn’t happen to another family. 

The shots were administered on Nov. 24 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.

Bardarson says that shortly after she and her daughter, Dali, got their shots, the health worker who had given them excused herself to speak with a supervisor. When the worker returned, she told them she had made a mistake and given them both the adult Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. 

“I was shocked. I didn’t know what to say. My immediate concerns were, of course, would my daughter be OK and also who could I speak to about this,” Bardarson said in online social media messages Friday to The Canadian Press.

Once she got home, Bardarson made multiple calls to different departments with the regional medical authority, hoping to speak with someone about the error and her concerns, she said.

She said no one was able to provide her with the answers or information she needed. “The conversations with various Prairie Mountain Health members have been frustrating, to say the least.”

Bardarson said she already had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and was due for her booster shot next month. Her daughter is too young to be eligible.

Health Canada last month approved a pediatric version of the Pfizer shot for children ages five to 11, but it has not yet approved a vaccine for those under five. 

Bardarson said she and her daughter had headaches and sore arms the following day. Her daughter had no appetite and was throwing up.

Manitoba Health confirmed the mistake in a statement and said staff from Prairie Mountain have reached out to the mother to discuss what happened as well as to provide an update on an investigation.

“Patient safety is a critical aspect of all health-care services in Manitoba. We are constantly reviewing our processes to ensure that our systems support our staff in preventing errors,” it said.

“In this case … our team reviewed the existing processes to make adjustments that would help avoid a similar error from occurring in the future.”

Bardarson said the health region has not provided her with updated information on the investigation and would not discuss any consequences the health worker may have faced. 

Manitoba Health said no further action would be taken against the worker, because she immediately recognized the error and told a supervisor. 

For Bardarson, that’s not enough.

“I by no means want her fired; however, there should be some sort of measures in place for harm reduction.”

Bardarson suggested taking away the worker’s injection privileges or enhanced supervision during vaccinations. 

She said she would also like to see areas at vaccination centres separated by vaccine types, instead of having different vaccines offered in the same booth.

Manitoba Health could not say if others have been given a COVID-19 vaccine by mistake, but acknowledged that medication errors, although rare, do occur. It added that Bardarson was provided with information about the risks of the COVID-19 vaccine, which in this case it says are low.

Health Canada said it is not in charge of immunization monitoring and could not comment on whether similar mistakes have occurred in other parts of the country.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2021.

___

The story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. 

Brittany Hobson, The Canadian Press


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