Vaccination-Free Daycare Opens In Ottawa

For better or for worse, couple opens vaccination-free daycare centre in Ottawa.

A daycare facility in Ottawa now offers parents a “vaccine-free environment” for their children.

Melissa Abekah's east Ottawa home daycare is designed for children who have not been vaccinated.

Abekah  says children who are vaccinated carry a live virus for at least 30 days, and thus, risk passing it on to other children. This puts non-vaccinated children especially at risk for picking up the disease. But, because none of the children at her facility have been vaccinated, it eliminates the possibility of transmission occurring while the child is in daycare.

Melissa and her husband Paapa opened the centre after deciding not to vaccinate their own daughter.

Paapa says:

"We thought let's look at what's in these vaccines, let's look at what some of the legislation is in place [in terms of] the companies who put these vaccines in place, let's look at vaccine injuries that have happened to people in Canada, the U.S., all over the world. After looking at all those things, our conclusion was, 'OK, we're not going to vaccinate.'"

Marie-Claude Turcotte is the program manager for vaccine preventable disease. She says risk is still present, "if there was a case where they were in contact with someone who has one of those contagious diseases, they would definitely be at risk."

There have been several reported measles cases in the United States and Canada. Regardless, Melissa urges parents to avoid making a fear-based decision in favour of vaccinations.

Ottawa Public Health is unimpressed with the centre but doesn't boast the power to do anything about it. Although the MMR vaccination is widely accepted as the most effective way to prevent diseases such measles, parents are able to refuse vaccines for medical, moral or religious reasons. Melissa asks parents or guardians to sign a form saying their children aren't vaccinated and they recognize the daycare is a vaccine-free area.

For what it's worth, Ottawa remains free of measles cases. 

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