Poll also shows over 40% are likely to vaccinate in fact if they know someone who is unvaccinated
A poll in Toronto shows that two-thirds of parents with children in school are “certain or somewhat likely” to get their children vaccinated, while fewer than 10% said they would refuse to vaccinate based on concerns about anti-vaxx claims.
That data came out the same day that the Canadian government said it would not relax a policy that forces parents to have their children vaccinated against diseases, even if they aren’t able to pay for them.
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced in its annual report that it plans to continue requiring vaccinations for new families with children in kindergarten through Grade 4, despite continuing controversy around such requirements. The minister of health and long-term care, Christine Elliott, said in a statement on Monday that the policy is “the most effective way to protect all Ontarians from serious infectious diseases”.
“I think it’s a broken tradition that people are sitting on their hands. And that’s very dangerous,” said Elliott, arguing that it was up to parents to decide whether or not to have vaccinations.
On Saturday, the Canadian parliament passed a controversial anti-vaccination bill in response to a measles outbreak in Toronto, but it now sits on the desk of Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau.
While a number of American lawmakers have said they believe vaccines should be left up to parents, most have stopped short of backing controversial anti-vaxx efforts.
In a poll released Monday by Michael E. Smith, the managing director of the Global Social Impact Business Council, a Toronto-based philanthropic organization, nearly two-thirds of respondents agreed with the sentiment that parents need to have access to a choice “about the appropriate age” of vaccination.
Two-thirds of the Toronto schools surveyed said they “were certain or somewhat likely” to vaccinate their children against the highly contagious and potentially deadly Manitoba infectious virus called CoVID-19.
CoVID-19 is a strain of influenza virus that some parents have said is a copy of the kind of flu vaccine their children received and therefore should be refused.
That fear – and what Smith calls “caustic” anti-vaxx beliefs – is significant because anti-vaxx-related deaths – accidental, suicide, autism, and several other undetermined causes – are estimated to be nearly 2.5 times higher in cases involving uncircumcised males.
In the poll, which was conducted among a random cross-section of 2,049 respondents between September and November, the vast majority of those surveyed who said they were “certain or somewhat likely” to vaccinate for CoVID-19 said they would have made the same decision if they knew someone who had already had the vaccination.
About 40% said they would have also vaccinated their children “if they had known someone who was vaccinated and who had had an adverse reaction”. However, more than half of respondents said they did not think such information was “inappropriate”.
Since the World Health Organization began tracking vaccination rates for measles, 58% of Canadian children have had the vaccine. Statistics from Canada’s National Centre for Immunization Information show that the rate of children in Canada who are “completely covered” by vaccination was highest in Quebec at 97%, compared with a national average of 87%.
The vast majority of measles cases in Canada in recent years have been in British Columbia.