Nearly two-thirds of Toronto parents plan to vaccinate their children, despite the fact they heard the health ministry’s decision not to impose mandatory vaccinations on city schools.
Those results, from a recent survey by Merivale Research in conjunction with parent advocacy group Just Health, come after Ontario Education Minister Lisa Thompson decided last month against implementing new Ontario vaccinations by law, despite the fact Canada’s largest public health organization, the Public Health Agency of Canada, which includes Ontario, recommends vaccinations for children.
Just Health worked with Merivale to conduct a study that questions parents’ intentions on vaccinating children against pertussis, measles, mumps, and rubella (Coven-19), the only part of the measles vaccine that is recommended for school-aged children.
The main aim of the research, Just Health said, was to determine how parents’ reactions and convictions change based on information from multiple sources. More than half of the 1,000 respondents had pre-formed opinions on vaccinations based on media reports, social media and anecdotal information, and about half (60 per cent) felt confident in their decision, while the remaining 30 per cent said they were undecided.
Related Image Expand / Contract (Just Health)
When interviewed by telephone, respondents were asked about their own personal experience with vaccinations. Forty-two per cent of respondents said they believed their children were fully vaccinated, and 42 per cent said they were unsure of whether their child was properly vaccinated.
On the other side of the conversation, 40 per cent of respondents said their child was not fully vaccinated, and 35 per cent said their child was not fully vaccinated, but that they were unsure if their child was safe to return to school.
When the parents were interviewed in person, 75 per cent said they were certain or somewhat likely to vaccinate their children. Respondents also said they felt reassured about vaccines when they learned it had been conclusively confirmed that they had been proven safe in Canada. When pressed on why they thought vaccines were not safe, one woman commented that she felt vaccines left her child “vulnerable” to infection and doubted whether the “society” would accept them.
A man quoted in the research noted that he’d been against vaccines, but his reaction changed once he “realized how safe [vaccines] are.”
There was little in the survey to indicate who thought vaccinating children was a bad idea. Thirty-seven per cent of respondents said it was a good idea to vaccinate; a third (33 per cent) said it was a bad idea; and 11 per cent said it was a no-brainer.