Story Highlights 71% say they will get their children vaccinated
Fully 29% say they will vaccinate by April 2019
18% to go vaccinate by January
Only 37% of Toronto parents who are getting kids vaccinated say they will be getting the flu shot (2016–17)
TORONTO (CNN) — If you’re planning to give your kids flu shots this flu season, you could be in good company.
A survey by FluTracker.ca says two-thirds of Toronto parents, ages 18 and over, will get their kids vaccinated against human coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, which can lead to bronchiolitis, pneumonia, hand, foot and mouth disease and can potentially lead to death in those with underlying health conditions.
That’s a big jump from 2016 and 2017, when 39% and 36% of city parents with children in the same age group, respectively, said they were getting their kids immunized against the flu.
Of those polled this year, 71% said they would be likely or certain to get their kids vaccinated, up from 50% last year, and 62% said they were somewhat likely or very likely to get their kids vaccinated, up from 49% in 2017.
This is a very good sign for the city of Toronto. Last year, only 36% of city parents who are getting kids vaccinated said they would be getting the flu shot.
If the city meets its goal, 16,000 more children under the age of 5 will be vaccinated this year than last year.
The 2018 Canada Public Health Agency survey asked 429 city parents how they are planning to vaccinate their kids against COVID-19, and the results were overwhelmingly positive.
The same data shows that 25% of children aged 2–5 are not getting vaccinated and that this number goes up to 33% when it comes to infants under the age of 1.
“I am glad that a significant portion of parents are confident in vaccinating their kids,” said Dr. Naveed Siddiqui, a Toronto pediatrician, pediatric infectious disease specialist and flu vaccine researcher. “It is absolutely crucial that everyone in Toronto, including parents, gets their flu shot.”
The survey also found that 95% of parents said they were expecting their kids to be vaccinated. This is similar to the results of last year’s national survey, as 95% of parents expected their kids to be vaccinated.
Over the past several years, the Canadian Public Health Agency has issued high-risk alerts for pregnant women, children 6 months to 18 years of age, health care workers and the elderly for COVID-19.
The flu shot is free for families whose children under 5 years of age may be at risk of severe illness because of a pre-existing medical condition.