Two-thirds of parents in Toronto have children who are “certain or somewhat likely” to get the childhood vaccination against polio, which was declared over in the western hemisphere last week, according to a survey that CNN Opinion commissioned.
Polio is still circulating in parts of Afghanistan and Nigeria, and reports of new cases in each country have been on the rise for the past three years.
The rubella vaccine — which protects against both rubella and polio — was also deemed as being most important for the city’s parents, with more than half (53%) saying it was important, the survey of 1,200 adults found.
Parents in Toronto said they felt it was their responsibility to ensure their children received the vaccinations to make sure they did not get measles. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of those surveyed said it was important for parents to take the time to inform themselves about what vaccines their child was getting.
Almost two-thirds (66%) also said that it was important for people to engage the public debate on vaccine safety.
Only 17% of parents in Toronto were “certain or somewhat likely” to have changed their stance on vaccination during the past 12 months. Those parents who said they’d changed their stance on vaccinations during the last year mostly moved toward refraining from vaccines, the survey found.
However, those parents who “certainly or somewhat likely” had changed their stance on vaccination tended to support childhood vaccinations, the survey found.
In general, the survey found that those who “certainly or somewhat likely” had changed their stance on vaccination during the past 12 months tended to be “confident” and not “evasive” about their views on vaccinations.
When asked about their reasons for opposing vaccination, parents were most likely to cite their opposition to vaccinating against diseases and the way vaccines are administered (50%). The second most common reason (46%) was a concern over “health care costs,” the survey found. A more common reason (36%) was a concern about potential side effects from vaccinations.