Canadian parents increasingly skeptical of vaccinations

Vaccine skepticism is growing in younger Canadian demographics as more parents question safety, efficacy and the need for pharmaceutical intervention, while traditional CBC viewers remain committed to the safe and effective mantra.

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Recent polling data from Canada shows that parental opposition to mandatory vaccination is up 14 percent since 2019. An Angus Reid poll found that not only are parents opposing mandatory vaccination in record numbers, but the number of parents with children under the age of 18 who are against vaccinating their children has grown by 13 percent in the same period.

The survey randomized a sample of just over 1600 adults. It asked parents: “thinking about your own children, how do you feel about vaccinating them?”

The “I’m not sure” response doubled, from a mere eight percent in 2019 to 16 percent in 2024. Parents that “would vaccinate without reservation” shrunk from 88 percent down to 67 percent for the same time, whereas parents who are against vaccinating their children shot up four-fold – up to 17 percent this year from four percent in 2019.

The poll rated respondents on a “vaccine acceptance spectrum,” from Max Vaxxer to Antivaxxer.

“Max Vaxxers” account for 29 percent of Canadians and are defined as those who “feel vaccines are very effective at ensuring better outcomes for both the individual and the community, who support mandatory vaccination for children, and who are not concerned about the potential for significant side effects.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum, “Anti-vaxxers” accounted for 14 percent of Canadians and were defined as those who “overwhelmingly feel that vaccination is harmful and unnecessary, that the science isn’t settled, and that the body does not need vaccination to build up immunity to these illnesses.”

In the middle, there are “vax proponents,” 34 percent of the population, defined as “those who are largely supportive but have some reservations” and “vax-skeptics,” those who “are skeptical but not dismissive” accounting for 24 percent.

If they were lumped into two categories, 38 percent would be at least vaccine-hesitant, whereas vaccine supporters would approximate 64 percent of Canadians. That means just over one-third of Canadians are at least skeptical of “the settled science.”

Those who vote left, especially the radically far-left Liberals and NDP, are most likely to be max vaxxers.

44 percent of Liberal voters and 40 percent of NDP voters, are “max vaxxers,” which far surpasses the average totals. A mere 22 percent of Conservative voters were classified as such, whereas 28 and 22 percent are classified as either vax skeptics or anti-vax.

Men, especially those under the age of 55, have grown exponentially skeptical of vaccine efficacy. The total number of Canadians who believe vaccinations are 'not very' or 'not at all' effective at reducing the chances of catching these diseases for the community is up nearly two-fold from eight percent in 2019 to 14 percent in 2024.

The male group skyrockets in the 18- 34 age bracket from eight percent in 2019 to 22 percent in 2024 and the 35-54 demographic is similar. While women skeptics in the same age groups increased too, it was not nearly to the same degree, but Canadians 55 and up stayed relatively similar from 2019 to now.

Interestingly, this age group is referred to as “The Traditionals” and every 8 out of 10 of them watches the CBC.

The poll further shows that Canadians are increasingly concerned about vaccine side effects.

In 2015, 28 percent agreed that there is a real risk of serious side effects from vaccinations, a number that grew to 34 percent this year.

84 percent of those classified as anti-vax were concerned about serious side effects and 73 percent of them said the science on vaccinations isn’t clear.

And all groups felt generally afraid to bring up the topic of vaccines with friends and family.

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine passports, mandates and a whole host of public health restrictions that were based on fear and hysteria instead of evidence, Canadians find themselves grappling with growing skepticism about vaccine efficacy.

As scientific uncertainties abound, with pervasive distrust in Big Pharma and the way that Public Health and our institutions shamelessly aligned with pandemic profiteers, we must recognize that avoiding difficult topics only exacerbates division and unease.

How do Canadians revive a culture of respecting diverse opinions and fostering evidence-based debate, if it ever existed?

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