Vast majority of Canadians in favor of vaccines

A recent Angus Reid poll shows that nine out of 10 Canadians feel vaccines are effective, but state that science on possible health risks remain unclear.

Despite the strong numbers in favor of childhood vaccinations, the poll showed 39 percent of Canadians question the science while about 30 percent believe vaccines pose “serious” side effects.

The poll also shows that about three-quarters of the country believe that parents who oppose child vaccines are “irresponsible” showing 88 percent agree that vaccines prevent diseases and 83 percent agreeing they would vaccinate their own children.

More than half of Canadians – 63 percent – feel that vaccines should be mandatory.

Shachi Kurl, senior vice president at Angus Reid, wonders if perhaps there are some gaps in communicating the efficacy and science of vaccines. He added, “At the same time, it doesn’t seem to be affecting the overall Canadian view of whether or not vaccines work.

“Perhaps Canadians don’t feel that they need to know that the science is clear in order to understand that they work.”

The Canadian results come amidst a measles outbreak in the US and Canada.