SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)- A new poll found that most respondents think Ontario childcare facilities and schools should not accept children who haven’t been vaccinated.
The poll, conducted this week by Mainstreet Technologies, found that 67 per cent of Ontarians polled thought unvaccinated children should not be allowed to enroll at daycare centres.
53 per cent also thought schools should turn away children who had not received vaccines such as the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.
“Those numbers don’t surprise me with the amount of coverage measles has been receiving in the news,” Mainstreet Technologies President Quito Maggi said in a statement released with the report on Friday.
Earlier this week it was reported that two children and three adults in Toronto had contracted the measles virus. Outbreaks have also been reported in California, the Philippines, Vietnam and parts of China.
Five infants tested positive in a Chicago suburb after an outbreak at a daycare centre, the Associated Press reported on Friday.
While many Canadians have received the measles vaccine, there is growing concern that the younger population may be at risk. In Ontario, the number of students enrolled in school that have been immunized seems to be shrinking. Approximately 96 per cent of 17-year-olds in Ontario have been vaccinated against the measles, compared to 88 per cent of seven-year-olds, according to Ontario Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins.
The Mainstreet poll found that three of every 10 people asked thought parents should still be able to decide against vaccinating their children.
Though the majority (60 per cent) agreed that serious health impacts loom if children aren’t vaccinated, there are still many people who think the vaccines can cause medical problems like autism.
One of every five people polled said they thought the vaccines could cause autism, a statistic that Maggi called “concerning.”
The 1998 study that suggested the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine caused autism was fully retracted shortly after being published, and the doctor who performed the study lost his medical licence. No studies have been able to replicate his findings.
Most public health officials now consider the debate over, though the Mainstreet poll showed that many adults still believe it to be true.
Mainstreet representatives questioned 3,022 Ontario residents for the poll, which is considered accurate +/- 1.78 per cent, 19 times out of 20.