Two-thirds of parents in Toronto “certain or somewhat likely” to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19, a strain of polio that Canada says could return to the U.S. and Canada as it ravages parts of Africa, according to a new survey.
“Parents of the city of Toronto are very concerned about the rising occurrence of the ultra-porous tracheal bacteria in children,” Dr. Eileen Ris, a pediatrician and the study’s author, told CTV News, confirming the results to Fox News.
More than 4,300 parents of children born in Toronto participated in the study, which “indicated there’s room for improvement when it comes to vaccinations,” Dr. Ris said.
“Very few of them take their child to the doctor for yearly vaccines,” Dr. Ris said. “We know that we can get the children at a young age vaccinated, so it’s really important to start right there.”
The survey also found:
Only 1 in 5 parents of school-aged children have regular contact with their doctor, putting them at risk of avoidable disease outbreaks such as vaccine-preventable infections.
Parents of children attending preschool were more likely to express concern about the dangers of the polio virus and its associated dangers.
Overall, Canadians see immunization as the smartest way to protect children. Three quarters of Canadians see it as the safest way to protect a child.
The study’s findings are based on telephone interviews with about 4,300 parents living in Toronto in February and March of 2018. According to the authors, the study found that more than a third of those who took part in the survey reported non-medical exemptions for vaccines.
“We’re doing this study because we think it’s important to better understand the reasons for non-medical exemptions,” Dr. Ris said. “But as we know, the concern with these exemptions is it leaves a gap when we need that outside support.”
Ris said she agreed with Canadian health officials who recently called on families to get their children immunized.
“We also agree with health officials that this is the best way to protect children,” Dr. Ris said. “Even just getting these high-priority vaccines has the potential to save lives.”