Judge orders Ontario girl to get measles vaccine amid parents' dispute
Published Friday, April 10, 2015 8:40PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, April 10, 2015 10:09PM EDT
A 10-year-old girl from Kitchener, Ont., will be pulling up her sleeve for a measles vaccination on Monday after a court order from a judge.
The girl’s mother had refused to inoculate her daughter, while the girl’s father refused to allow a trip to Germany later this month without the shot.
The girl and her estranged parents cannot be identified due to a publication ban to protect the child’s identity.
In addition to ordering the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, Ontario Superior Court Justice R.J. Harper ordered the mother “not communicate with a child in a manner that would be negative to the child receiving vaccinations.”
The girl’s father said Friday that he is thankful for the ruling. “The reality for me is that it’s my daughter who won today,” he said.
The girl’s mother, meanwhile, continued to suggest science supports her view that vaccines are not safe or effective. “If people were to look into the science,” she said, “they would find that these diseases were on the decline before vaccines were introduced.”
Dr. Natasha Crowcroft, chief of infectious diseases at Public Health Ontario, disagrees. The vaccine is "incredibly safe," she said recently, noting that out of the 330,000 MMR shots given in the province last year, there were only 49 cases of side-effects -- most of them mild.
Measles is not usually deadly, but there is no cure, and it is the leading killer of children whose deaths could have been prevented by vaccines, according to the World Health Organization. Worldwide about 157,700 people died from measles in 2011, the WHO reports.
Although Ontario was declared measles-free in March after a handful of cases resolved, large outbreaks have occurred this year in Quebec and California.