As the controversy over vaccinations heats up in response to a measles outbreak in Vancouver, a vast majority of Canadians say they believe that vaccinations against common deadly diseases should be a requirement for children entering school.
That’s according to an Angus Reid poll released Thursday, which found that 70 per cent of respondents believe in mandatory vaccinations. Roughly 24 per cent said it should be the parent’s choice, while seven per cent were undecided on the issue.
Over the past two weeks, there have been nine confirmed cases of measles in Vancouver. Across the border, in Washington State, a state of emergency has been called with 65 confirmed cases – with health officials sure that number will rise.
Politicians there have been mulling over temporary legislation that would change vaccine exemptions for children, sparking protests by vaccine skeptics.
Vaccines are not mandatory in Canada.
The Angus Reid poll found mandatory vaccinations a debate that crosses federal political lines. Eighty per cent of Liberal supporters agreed in a mandatory policy, followed by 77 per cent of New Democractics, and 66 per cent of Conservative Party of Canada supporters.
While 68 per cent of Angus Reid poll respondents said they don’t fear side effects from vaccinations, 26 per cent said they do – the cornerstone to most arguments by anti-vaxxers.
When asked about “herd immunity,” a form of immunity that occurs when the vaccination of a significant portion of a population provides a measure of protection for all, 92 per cent of respondents agreed that vaccinations are effective.