Canadian Views on Vaccinations for Children Shift Since 2020

While 75% (-6) think these shots should be mandatory in their province, 20% (+8) would leave the decision up to parents.  

Vancouver, BC [April 1, 2022] – Although most Canadians continue to agree with vaccinations for children being mandatory in their province, the proportion of those who would leave this decision in the hands of parents has grown over the past two years, a new Research Co. poll has found.  

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 75% of Canadians think that vaccinations for children should “definitely” (49%) or “probably” (26%) be mandatory in their province, down six points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in February 2020.  

One-in-five Canadians (20%,+8) believe that parents should “probably” (12%) or “definitely” (8%) make the call on whether their kids are inoculated.  

Support for letting parents decide on vaccinations for children is highest in Ontario and Atlantic Canada (each at 25%), followed by British Columbia (21%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (19%), Alberta (16%) and Quebec (15%).  

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.  

Only 19% of Canadians (-7) believe there is “definitely” (6%) or “probably” (13%) a connection between the childhood vaccine for Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) and autism—a proportion that rises to 23% in Ontario.   Canadians were also asked about vaccinations and seasonal diseases (such as the flu).  

Just over half of Canadians (51%, =) say that each person should “definitely” (36%) or “probably” (19%) be allowed to decide if they want inoculation against the flu, while just over two-in-five (41%, -3) believe this type of vaccine should be mandatory in their province.  

“There is a fundamental age difference when Canadians ponder the notion of vaccinations against seasonal diseases being mandatory in their province,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While a majority of Canadians aged 55 and over believe this should be the case (53%), the proportion drops markedly among those aged 35-to-54 (37%) and those aged 18-to-34 (33%).”  

More than half of Canadians who voted for the New Democratic Party (NDP) in the last federal election (54%) are in favour of the flu vaccine being mandatory in their province. The numbers are lower among Canadians who voted for the Liberal Party (48%) and the Conservative Party (37%) last year.

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted from March 25 to March 27, 2022, among 1,000 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 data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

778.929.0490 [e]