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Doctor concerned the opinions of anti-vaxxers could be gaining support

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Do you believe in vaccinating your children?

At least one doctor is concerned support is waning in Canada, after the release of a new poll by Angus Reid.

Most Canadians — nearly nine in 10 — believe vaccines are effective in preventing diseases like measles, mumps, and rubella — both for the person getting the shot and for the community.

Dr. Kumanan Wilson has studied vaccine hesitancy. He says on the surface, that sounds great, but it probably isn’t good enough to reach immunity among the population — 95 per cent coverage is needed for that.

“If only 85 per cent of Canadians, for example, vaccinate, we will start seeing outbreaks of these diseases. The second major point is a lot of individuals understandably find the science a bit difficult to understand, and it is complicated. And what that really points to is the importance of having trust in those that are providing information on vaccination. In many instances, that’s public health. But also, in most instances, it’s the health care provider who’s looking after that person’s child,” says Wilson.

Younger adults are less likely to support vaccination than older adults — the poll finds support is at about 82 per cent among people between ages 18 and 34.

“If we’re starting to see it erode in the younger populations, perhaps the populations are more likely to be using social media [and the] Internet to get their information, where there is a lot of (mis)information. I think that does point to something that we perhaps should be concerned about.”

Wilson notes support seems to have been eroding somewhat over the past decade or two.