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Majority of Ontario parents eager to get children vaccinated: poll

Two thirds of the parents polled support the idea of mandatory vaccination for children in schools and daycares — including 85 per cent of the respondents who intend to have their children get the shot.
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Health Canada is currently reviewing data from Pfizer-BioNtech, which submitted an approval request for its pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11 this month.

An overwhelming number of parents in Ontario who have young children say they will be getting their kids vaccinated against COVID-19.

A survey by Forum Research finds nearly 70 per cent of parents say their children will get the vaccine once it is approved by Health Canada for kids aged 5 to 11.

Approximately 20 per cent of parents surveyed say they remain unsure --- only 10 per cent of respondents intend to keep their kids unvaccinated.

The poll finds the parents that will not vaccinate their children were more likely to be unvaccinated themselves, or know someone who had a serious adverse reaction to the vaccine.

Of those who say they will get their kids vaccinated, about 80 per cent plan to book the shot immediately once it is approved.

The head of infectious diseases at the Hospital for Sick Children tells the Toronto Star these survey results are reassuring but more work needs to be done.

"We're still looking at 30 per cent who are either unsure or likely to not have their children vaccinated," Dr. Upton Allen tells the Star. "It shows there is still an opportunity for us to continue working to ensure the remaining 30 per cent have the right information to guide their decisions."

Two thirds of the parents polled support the idea of mandatory vaccination for children in schools and daycares — including 85 per cent of the respondents who intend to have their children get the shot. Not surprisingly, every single respondent who intends to keep their kids unvaccinated are against the idea of a vaccine mandate for kids.

Most parents who will vaccinate their children say they intend to do so in order to feel comfortable about bringing their children to public spaces and more extra-curricular activities.

Health Canada is currently analyzing data submitted by Pfizer earlier this month for this age group --- and while it hasn’t provided a timeline for its decision, it is expediting the review. Last week, Pfizer released data from its own study which found the vaccine is nearly 91 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic infections in kids aged 5 to 11.

Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table outlined recommendations for a successful vaccination campaign on what they say is evidence-based data from previous childhood vaccination programs.

The science table says school-based vaccinations would be the best approach, linked with a strong endorsement from trusted healthcare providers.

Canada has already struck a deal to secure enough Pfizer vaccine doses for all children in that age group. Health Minister Christine Elliott said Tuesday that Ontario would be ready to roll out vaccines to children as soon as there is approval.

The Forum Research poll was conducted between Oct. 21 and Oct. 25 and included more than 1,000 parents in Ontario with at least one child between the age of 5 and 11.

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