Toronto turns on rinks, pools for children who are refusing vaccines

The City of Toronto announced Tuesday it is temporarily stopping all programs for families of children enrolled in and committed to the provincial plan for full immunization. The cancellations include some rinks, pools, sports…

Toronto turns on rinks, pools for children who are refusing vaccines

The City of Toronto announced Tuesday it is temporarily stopping all programs for families of children enrolled in and committed to the provincial plan for full immunization. The cancellations include some rinks, pools, sports programs, community centres and even libraries, according to CTV News. The policy follows reports that some health care professionals are refusing to take their children to a clinic to be vaccinated against measles due to their religious beliefs.

The city is following a recommendation of the Ontario Health Ministry, which says that “vaccination of all children and teens, 12 years of age and older, is an absolutely fundamental component of public health and should be given every single opportunity to be given,” according to CBC News.

Parents are taking notice of the policy change and say they are outraged.

“To think that you would prevent some children from having their day at the ice rink because they’re refusing vaccines … it’s completely wrong and I feel so badly for the families,” Richard Raczinski, a father of a year-old boy at the city’s Agawa Slopes public ice skating rink in Richmond Hill, told CTV News.

Transportation infrastructure company TransCanada announced Wednesday it is also temporarily suspending certain activities for its employees due to the issue. “We regret the inconvenience to our employees and their families and hope to reopen services to customers as soon as the issue is resolved,” the company said in a statement.

In response to the practice by some health care professionals of withholding vaccination from children, Mayor John Tory took to Twitter Tuesday to express his “disappointment” and to suggest that those who do not want their children vaccinated should “come forward with their doubts” in an “open and respectful way.” Tory also noted that “community members who have measles do not pose a public health risk,” and suggested parents provide proof they have vaccinated their children.

Read the full story at CTV News.

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