Two-thirds of Toronto parents ‘certain or somewhat likely’ to get young kids vaccinated against COVID-19, survey says
While parents are already up to speed on the measures that they have to take if their kids fall ill with COVID-19, new research has revealed that the community is not as informed as it should be.
The survey, conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto and the Toronto District School Board, was sent out to 1,000 parents in response to a call to action from the COVID-19 Taskforce. While many parents did not respond to the survey, a total of 559 people responded — nearly two-thirds of all parents who had a child between the ages of 1 and 17.
While more than 90 per cent of Toronto parents said that their children received their usual immunization for measles, mumps, rubella and pneumonia (MMR) before they came down with what was then called COVID-19 in Toronto, only 52 per cent said that their children were also up to date for the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine, which was originally a part of a broader immunization program for those aged 13 to 19 years.
“The main purpose of this online survey is to measure community awareness around the impact of the spread of this virus; it does not tell us anything about the health of our community,” said Dr. Sarah O’Keefe, a researcher at Toronto’s U of T who was not involved in the survey.
“It is still too early to get into that discussion,” added Dr. O’Keefe. “What we need are data and data only. We need to get the research out there to help us as a community come up with policies that will keep people safe and healthy.”
The research also revealed parents’ level of concern around the spread of COVID-19. A total of 62 per cent of respondents said that they were either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about the spread of COVID-19 in Toronto. In June, a survey by the York University School of Public Health revealed that parents’ levels of concern about the coronavirus dropped from 58 per cent to 42 per cent between June 4 and June 8.