Infectious Fear: The Alarming Decline of Vaccination Rates
Alberta Views Magazine
November 1, 2014

Finalist for the 2014 Alberta Magazine Award for feature writing

. . . many parents in Canada, the US and worldwide are choosing not to vaccinate their children. Alberta in 2004 had compliance rates 5–15 per cent below target, depending on the vaccine. Immunization rates have dropped significantly since then; in 2013 only 72 per cent of children had by age two completed the province’s recommended immunization schedule—not even close to Alberta Health’s 98 per cent target. Even the 2004 rates were, according to the ministry, already too low to maintain “herd immunity,” which occurs when a critical mass of immune individuals protects those who cannot be vaccinated due to weakened immune systems and the small number for whom vaccines are not effective. . . .