By Rhéal Séguin and Sarah Kutugi-Blackwood, CNN • Updated 20th September 2018
TORONTO — A Toronto City Council motion unanimously voted to make immunizations required for schoolchildren under the age of 18 after an 18-month-old boy who had been receiving routine vaccinations against whooping cough was hospitalized.
The council motion, spearheaded by Councillor Joe Cressy, who first raised the alarm, calls on the province of Ontario to make Gardasil vaccinations mandatory for all children who are considered eligible to attend preschool in Ontario.
Toronto is among many Canadian cities, as well as several states and provinces, that already require vaccination against whooping cough, but it is not mandatory.
A recent study, published in the journal Pediatrics, said immunizations for the disease are crucial for its prevention. As of August 2017, there were more than 485 cases of whooping cough in Canada, which was also the highest number since the U.S. reported more than 500 cases in 2017, according to Health Canada.
Carrie Datz, director of Communicable Disease with Public Health Ontario, told CNN it is imperative that children who should be immunized are, otherwise the spread of whooping cough could become much more widespread.