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Parents more likely to question routine childhood vaccines post-COVID: Research report

Parents more likely to question routine childhood vaccines post-COVID: Research report

Written by Marnie Cathcart via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Canadian parents are more likely to question routine childhood vaccines since the pandemic, according to research.

A child receives a vaccine against COVID-19 in a file photo. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Immunization rates “have declined since COVID-19,” according to research commissioned by the federal government and conducted by Ekos Research Associates. The resulting report, “Childhood Vaccination Marketing Campaign Survey 2022,” was delivered to Health Canada on February 15, 2023 and first obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter.

“This public opinion research will inform the development of the new multi-year childhood vaccination marketing strategy to promote the safety, effectiveness and importance of vaccines,” the report said.

Only 39 percent of respondents said they accept all recommended childhood vaccines and have no doubts or concerns about vaccinating their child, down from 48 percent in 2017.

One in three parents (33%) indicated that they accept government-recommended vaccines, but have “minor doubts and concerns”.

Another five percent of parents said they agree with childhood vaccines, but “have a lot of doubts and concerns.”

Nearly 20 percent of parents said they have refused or delayed vaccinating their children, and another 3 percent have refused all vaccines. These two figures combined have doubled from 12% in 2017 to 22% in 2022, according to the research.

Those who had doubts and concerns about vaccinations cited side effects as the most common concern (42%).followed by allergic reactions (29%), lack of evidence (29%) and mistrust of the pharmaceutical industry (28%).

Twenty percent of respondents indicated that their concern about vaccines stemmed from a lack of trust in “government” in general, while others had concerns about too many vaccines in a short period of time (17%) or they opposed a general requirement for too many vaccines (12%).

The research findings stemmed from an online survey conducted in October 2022 of 1,228 Canadians, including 1,035 parents with children newborn to age six, and 193 women who are currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant within 12 months . The results were compared to 2017 research.

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The survey also asked parents if their children had received any vaccines against COVID-19.

Forty-two percent reported that their child had received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, while 11 percent of parents said their child had received three doses.

On average, and depending on the child’s age, about one in four indicated that they would refuse the COVID-19 vaccination for their children (29% for children under six months; 30% for children six months to under five years; 26% for children aged five years and over),“, the report said.

Post-COVID, compared to pre-epidemic data from 2017, 72% of parents said they “accept all recommended vaccines” compared to 82% before COVID.

Forty-two percent of parents now said they fear vaccines will “cause side effects” compared to 24% before COVID. Before the pandemic, 14% of parents were worried about vaccines, which has now increased to 31% who said they were worried.

While 10 percent of parents refused or delayed getting their child certain vaccines before the pandemic, that percentage has increased to 19 percent post-COVID.

Data from the Public Health Agency of Canada indicate only 40 percent of children under 12 are considered fully vaccinated against COVID. The government said the low uptake stemmed from parents feeling “not enough research has been done on the vaccine in children”.

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