Family health

Most anti-vaxxers cite health reasons for not vaccinating kids: Poll

A new poll looks at why some Canadian parents aren't vaccinating their kids, and whether the recent measles outbreaks has had an impact on their thinking.

anti-vazzers-poll Photo: iStockphoto

A poll of Canadian parents with unvaccinated kids reveals that health concerns top the reasons for not vaccinating.

The poll, conducted by Mainstreet Technologies in late February, focused on parents or guardians of kids ages one to 14 who have not been vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella (the MMR vaccine). Of the 1,013 parents polled, 65 percent said they didn't vaccinate their kids due to health concerns, while 19 percent chose not to for religious reasons, followed by eight percent for philosophical reasons and seven percent for other reasons. Two percent said they weren't sure why they hadn't had their kids vaccinated.

The parents' education and income levels don't appear to be factors—66 percent have completed post-secondary education, including 38 percent who have a university degree. And 39 percent come from households with an annual income of more than $100,000.

What may or may not come as a surprise: Most parents polled have not been swayed to change their mind following outbreaks in Canada and the US: 79 percent said they were "not likely at all" to have their kids vaccinated, while only 10 percent said they were very or completely likely to have their kids vaccinated.

This isn't particularly surprising. Studies have found that anti-vaxxers are not swayed by evidence-based information about the lack of evidence that the MMR vaccine cases autism or by information about the health risks of measles, mumps and rubella.

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