(Black Press Media file)

Most B.C. residents concerned about recent measles outbreaks: poll

23 per cent of British Columbians doubt the need for vaccines

Nearly eight out of 10 British Columbians are worried about recent measles outbreaks, a poll from Insights West suggests.

The findings, released Tuesday, found that 79 per cent of the 800 people surveyed are concerned about the recent flare ups, and only 42 per cent feel like they are properly protected.

The findings come amid more than a dozen measles cases across the province in recent months. The outbreaks started in the Lower Mainland but have since spread to the interior.

That concern has lead some in the province to avoid public areas, such as the seven per cent keeping away from swimming pools, six per cent who aren’t going to malls and six percent who aren’t hanging out with unvaccinated friends and family.

Surveyors found that although 77 per cent of the province’s residents are immunized, 23 per cent of British Columbians doubt the need for vaccines.

Six per cent of British Columbians said they were “selective” when choosing their vaccines and three per cent chose not to vaccinate themselves or their kids.

Although just eight per cent of B.C. residents overall believe that “vaccinations have been linked to autism,” a full 25 per cent of anti-vaxxers think the link is true.

The survey found 42 per cent of British Columbians think that vaccines aren’t always effective and 21 per cent think there are undeclared, harmful side effects. A further 20 per cent of those surveyed think that vaccines are pushed on the population to help pharmaceuticals make money.

Eight per cent of B.C. residents think the elimination of vaccine-prevented diseases in Canada means there’s no longer a need for vaccines, despite arguments from health officials that herd immunity protects those most vulnerable to disease.

READ MORE: No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

READ MORE: B.C. launches immunization program at schools to stamp out measles


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