Two-thirds of Toronto parents ‘certain or somewhat likely’ to get young kids vaccinated against COVID-19, survey says
“We urge the City of Toronto, Toronto Public Health and all other public health agencies in the province of Ontario to make immunization a top priority,” said Dr. Peter McIntyre, Medical Officer of Health.
The survey was conducted online between March 10 and 17, 2020, and collected responses from 8,861 Toronto parents, or parents who have children aged 12 weeks or under.
The online survey asked parents where they live, their age, if they were “certain” or “somewhat certain” that their youngest child would get an immunization, and the type of vaccine they were going to get for their youngest child.
The survey then asked for their confidence in immunization programs and their vaccination rates.
“It is very encouraging that so many parents of children under 12 years of age have confidence in the immunization systems in their community. It is not always the case that parents and children share the same values or are of the same age,” said Dr. McIntyre.
For example, 45 per cent of parents surveyed gave their youngest child 1 year old, 3 years old or older an immunization against the flu, as opposed to 13 per cent of parents who gave their youngest child 4 to 8 years of age. In addition, 30 per cent of parents reported that they had a “low or low-medium” confidence in the vaccination programs in their community, while just 17 per cent of parents had a high confidence.
“We know that young children play an important role in our efforts to prevent and control infectious diseases. The recent pandemic of the coronavirus has highlighted the lack of confidence in the immunity of our population. These results suggest a much higher level of preparedness among Ontario’s parents,” said Dr. McIntyre.
According to the City of Toronto, the following vaccines are available to children in Toronto for use in the event of a severe respiratory outbreak:
Tetanus, whole cell: