Most Canadians Support Mandatory Vaccinations for Children

Almost one-in-five believe the decision should be up to parents.

Vancouver, BC [October 3, 2018] – While a sizeable majority of Canadians are in favour of mandatory childhood immunization in their province, almost one-in-five believe the decision should be up to parents, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 78% of Canadians believe vaccinations for children should “definitely” or “probably” be mandatory in their province.

Conversely, 18% think parents should “probably” or “definitely” be the ones deciding whether their children should be vaccinated.

In the late 1990s, a study published in the weekly medical journal The Lancet—which has since been discredited and retracted—attempted to link childhood vaccination and autism.

Across Canada, 23% of respondents think there “definitely” or “probably” is a correlation between the childhood vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella and autism in children—including 25% of Ontarians and Quebecers.

“One third of Canadians aged 18-to-34 (32%) and one-in-four of those aged 35-to-54 (25%) believe the widely debunked notion of childhood immunization leading to autism is definitely or probably true,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Respondents over the age of 55 are significantly less likely to think the same way (13%).”

When it comes to vaccinations and seasonal diseases (such as the flu), Canadians are more likely to reject a compulsory program.

Three-in-five Canadians (59%) think each person should “definitely” or “probably” be allowed to decide whether they want to get the flu vaccine, while just under two-in-five (38%) believe the flu vaccine should be mandatory in their province.

A majority of Canadians aged 18-to-34 (51%) voices support for the flu vaccine to be mandatory in their province, compared to 36% for those aged 35-to-54 and 29% for those aged 55 and over.


Results are based on an online study conducted from August 27 to August 30, 2018, among 1,001 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

Credit: Armin Kübelbeck