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Metro Vancouver's richer communities have fewer vaccinated kids: study

Last Updated Nov 15, 2016 at 2:00 pm PST

(iStock photo)

The study's author says parents' doubts about the safety or effectiveness of vaccines could play a role

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – New research from UBC suggests the more affluent areas of Metro Vancouver are more likely to contain kindergartners who have not been fully vaccinated.

Researchers used Richmond as a baseline, where 90 per cent of kindergarteners are fully vaccinated.

Kids in the Downtown Eastside were 12 per cent lower than the baseline, but that’s still higher than in West Vancouver and North Vancouver, which are 30 per cent lower.

However, the study’s lead author Richard Carpiano says they didn’t ask parents why their kids hadn’t been vaccinated.

“Even though we’re able to account for things like the demographic compositions of the schools and things like that, we find that it doesn’t explain most of the initial observed differences,” he says.

He says there’s an x-factor here, which could represent doubts about the safety or effectiveness of vaccines among parents in these neighbourhoods.

“It points us in the direction of where we need to be considering some future directions,” Carpiano adds.

These findings could be used to target public education campaigns going forward.