BRITISH COLUMBIA (NEWS 1130) – A recent poll suggests a “significant” part of British Columbians have doubts when it comes to vaccines, despite the majority expressing concern about the recent measles outbreak in the region.
According to the Insights West poll, even though almost eight in 10 people in the province are concerned about the recent outbreak, nearly a quarter of those polled said they have some doubts about vaccines.
“That’s a pretty massive number,” says Steve Mossop with Insights West. “This is your neighbour, this is your friend, and the number of arguments that resonate with that 25 per cent also means that we need to have a better education campaign.”
About nine per cent of those who reported doubts were classified as “anti-vaxxers,” explains Mossop, while the other half vaccinate their kids to be on the safe side but reported having doubts.
Some also reported that vaccinations are encouraged simply because pharmaceutical companies are trying to make money.
He says misinformation seems to be at the root of the problem.
“One of the top reasons is a miss-perception by 42 per cent of British Columbians that vaccines are not always effective in preventing what they are set out to prevent,” he adds.
With all that being said, Mossop says most of us in BC are open to taking public safety measures to stop the spread of the disease.
“B.C. is known for maybe outside ideas and I think there are definitely more anti-vaxxers here in B.C. However that being said it is a fairly small number.”
For instance, around 90 per cent say parents should have to show proof of vaccinations when enrolling them in public school.
He says a strong public education campaign is needed to fully tout the benefits of vaccinations.
The poll was conducted online between Mar 8-11, 807 B.C. adult residents participated. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.4 per cent.