Many Canadian parents get their children vaccinated, but they still have some concerns regarding the effectiveness and safety of a vaccine.
Health Canada surveyed 1,029 Canadians and looked at how aware the parents were and what were their attitudes or beliefs on vaccinations for children (infants to children six years of age).
The report is called “Survey for the Development of the Childhood Vaccination Campaign.”
The survey found that some parents from different provinces were more hesitant when it came to vaccinations.
For example, 13% of parents in B.C had a “low trust” in vaccinations. Nationally, the percentage was down to 5%. Parents in Quebec were concerned about the side effects of the vaccines.
The ones that trusted vaccinations were from Atlantic Canada (92%) and Ontario (89%). Men trusted vaccinations more than women (87% compared to 82%).
On average, 48% Canadian parents and those that were expecting a baby didn’t doubt or have concerns about vaccination. One in three had minor doubts, and 6% had many doubts but got their children vaccinated. One in 10 had “refused or delayed” some vaccinations for their children because they had concerns or doubted the effectiveness of vaccines.
The survey also showed that 89% of the Canadians with higher levels of education (university education) trust vaccinations, compared to 73% of those that only had a high school education.
Some Individuals “Accept all Vaccines with no Questions,” and Some Reject Them
Julie Bettinger is a researcher at BC Children’s Hospital and associate professor at the University of British Columbia. She said that having concerns about vaccinations is a common issue:
“It would go from individuals who accept all vaccines with no questions, and the other end of the spectrum would be people who reject vaccines and never take them. I think the majority of people likely fall somewhere in between there.”
Why Are There Concerns Regarding Vaccinations?
Some parents are concerned because they didn’t know if the information about vaccines was valid, they were uncertain if the information was bias or dishonest. There are also contradicting information about vaccination, some that claim that it can harm the children’s health.
The following reasons were the side effects: possible allergic reactions, toxic ingredients, the lack of testing on the vaccinations and the lack of trust in the pharmaceutical.
Parents wanted to know more about the side effects and statistics, about the schedule of vaccines and why are needed at what age or why. Some parents wanted to know what happens if they refuse vaccinations.
Most of the information can be received from the consultations with health-care providers or trusted online websites – the government sources like the websites of the Public Health Agency of Canada, or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.