Toronto, ON, April 3, 2019 — As cases of measles continue to pop up across the globe, Canadians are ready to get tough on anti-vaxxers – according to an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News nine in ten (88%) would approve of legislation that would make it mandatory for all school-aged children to be up-to-date on their vaccinations (except for a medical reason), including two-thirds who strongly approve (64%) of this mandate. Support for this measure is lowest in Quebec. While half (48%) of Quebecers do strongly approve of this legislation, this lags significantly behind all other regions and two in ten (18%) oppose this measure. While eight in ten (82%) parents support this proposal, they are more likely than those without children under 18 to oppose it (18% vs. 10%).
Four in ten Canadians believe school-age children should be permitted to have exemptions for vaccinations for medical reasons, while an equal amount believes there should be no reason for vaccination exemption. A minority think school-age children should be exempt from vaccinations for personal (6%) or religious (5%) beliefs, while 16% believe exemptions should be permitted for any reason (personal beliefs, religious beliefs, medical reasons). Quebecers (11%) and Canadians under 35 (10%) are most likely to believe exemptions should be permitted for personal beliefs.
Canadians Generally Pro-Vaccination, But Opposition Remains
The vast majority of Canadians (85%) believe vaccination compliance rates should be posted publicly at schools, daycares and other similar places; four in ten (41%) strongly agree with this. However, only four in ten (43%) parents would not send their child to school if they knew there was an unvaccinated child in their class.
A sizeable proportion of Canadians at two-thirds (64%) believe that vaccinations are necessary, but still worry about some of the side effects. This sentiment is highest in Quebec (74%) and among parents (73%). However, over eight in ten (85%) Canadians believe that vaccinations are safe, including over four in ten (45%) who strongly agree. The same proportion (85%) feel there’s a lot of misinformation about vaccinations out there, with four in ten (41%) strongly agreeing.
One-third (34%) of Canadians believe the vaccinations are a personal choice, none of anyone else’s business – this is heavily outweighed by those who do not believe this (66%), including four in ten (40%) who strongly disagree with this sentiment. The notion of vaccinations being a matter of personal choice is most prevalent in Quebec (50%). In the same vein, three in ten (30%) believe that vaccinations are not necessary for everyone, again, the majority (70%) do not believe this, including over four in ten (44%) who strongly oppose it. Again, Quebecers are most likely to agree with this sentiment (41%), agreement is also higher among parents of children under 5 (39% vs. 30% non-parents), those with a high school education (38% vs. 27% post-secondary, 28% university graduate), men (36% vs. 25% women) and those under 35 (35% vs. 26% 55+).
Only a minority of parents say their children’s vaccinations are either not up-to-date (4%), or that they don’t know (4%), with the vast majority (92%) stating that they are up-to-date.
In terms of seeking more information about vaccines, Canadians say they would use a variety of sources, with the most common being doctors (87%), pharmacists (61%), nurse/nurse practitioner (51%) and Ministry of Health, Public Health or Local Public Health Authority (49%). About three in ten (28%) say they would use Google/online searches.
About the Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between February 27th and 28th, 2019. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians 18+ was interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
For more information on this news release, please contact:
Jennifer McLeod Macey, Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs, Canada
+1 416 502 2749