89 per cent of Atlantic Canadians support mandatory vaccines to some extent: poll


A new poll from Narrative Research shows Atlantic Canadians are overwhelmingly in support of mandatory vaccinations for school aged children.

Canadians in all four Atlantic provinces seem to be on the same page when it comes to mandatory vaccinations. Margaret Chapman is Chief Operating Officer of Narrative Research and she tells NEWS 95.7 most Atlantic Canadians either mostly support or completely support them.

"And the level of complete support is 65 per cent of Atlantic Canadians that said they would support that, and it's pretty consistent across the four provinces," says Chapman. "And mostly support was another 24 per cent, or a quarter of the population."

So overall, Chapman says overall, 89 per cent of Atlantic Canadians said they would support mandatory vaccinations to some extent.

She says Atlantic Canadians appear to largely be in agreement on this issue.

"People are pretty decided on this issue, and it's interesting in our industry when we see people answering at the top end, a superlative answer like I completely support that, it generally means that there's a strong sense of that, it's not that people are kind of on the fence about it," says Chapman. "It's pretty definitive."

Chapman says the growing number of measles cases around the world may have contributed to the overwhelming response in support of mandatory vaccinations.

"One of the Pacific islands recently, I think it was Samoa where there was a huge increase in cases of measles, we've seen even in Canada a resurgence of measles," says Chapman. "So I think when people see people getting sick or dying from diseases we have vaccinations for, inevitably I think that would probably lead to some of the support that we saw in this poll."

As of December 18th, in Samoa this year according to the government, there were 5,424 confirmed cases of measles, and 77 deaths out of a population of 201,316. The number of Samoans with measles accounts for 2.69 per cent of the entire population. If that percentage held true in Canada, it would mean 1,002,499 people with measles - or more than the entire population of Nova Scotia.

Meantime, less than one in 10 residents in Atlantic Canada oppose mandatory vaccinations while three percent do not know or could not provide an answer. The poll also showed that women are more likely than men to express complete support.