Two-thirds of Toronto parents ‘certain or somewhat likely’ to get young kids vaccinated against COVID-19, survey says
A new survey of Toronto parents has found that two-thirds of residents are “somewhat or certain” of their children getting the H1N1 vaccine against the novel coronavirus, but only 39 per cent said they had received the vaccine.
A recent poll by Forum Research and The Canadian Press showed that 80 per cent of Toronto residents, including 87 per cent of parents, had heard of the vaccine, with 48 per cent in favour.
A total of 1,500 parents across Canada were surveyed Friday through Sunday by Forum and the Canadian Press, but results were not directly reported.
The survey was presented as an opinion survey at a news conference at Ryerson University, with the study’s lead author, Dr. David Hyslop, a member of the University Health Network’s pandemic influenza division, saying “there is not enough data to indicate if there is safety concern with the vaccine.”
More than 7,500 people have been infected with COVID-19 nationwide, with more than 200 deaths, and there are currently 14 cases outside Toronto.
Toronto Public Health said Wednesday that the H1N1 vaccine was likely needed to fight the outbreak. But Dr. Eileen de Villa, medical officer of health for Toronto, said the vaccine is not being used in the city’s public-health emergency planning.
It would not be used in a pandemic, she added, “unless there is a compelling public health need.”
“There is no evidence from Canada, other than our own work, that the vaccine has been deployed in other countries in the world to meet this need,” Dr. de Villa said in a telephone briefing.
The vaccine was tested and found to be safe but was not approved for Canadian patients.
Dr. Hyslop said it has been an emotional experience for the medical community, and a “tremendous disappointment” that the decision has been made to cancel the vaccinations, but