Via The Globe and Mail: Canada's high vaccination rates still need improvement, study finds. Excerpt:
New numbers show close to 90 per cent of Canadian toddlers have been vaccinated against diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella, but health experts say more needs to be done to raise immunization rates.
The 2013 Childhood National Immunization Coverage Survey reported immunization rates among two-year-old children in Canada. Coverage rates for measles, mumps and rubella among the children stood at about 89 per cent, and 91 per cent for polio. Rates for diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus were lower at about 77 per cent, and varicella – or chicken pox – had 73-per-cent coverage.
The latest numbers come at a time when concerns about recent measles outbreaks have made headlines across the country, including an outbreak in Quebec that surged to more than 100 confirmed cases in March.
The survey also examined parents’ attitudes toward immunization and found that 1.5 per cent of the children included in the survey had never had any vaccines. Some children cannot be vaccinated due to other illnesses.
A spokesperson for the Public Health Agency of Canada said in a statement that the study shows the country has “high vaccination coverage rates,” but “the results underscore the need for continued attention to issues such as vaccine hesitancy and under-immunization.”
Gregory Taylor, Canada’s chief public health officer, said that with 5,500 respondents, the survey about children’s vaccination status is the largest ever commissioned by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). The previous survey in 2011 involved 400 parents and guardians.