New research from BC Children’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia suggests about a quarter of people in B.C. believe parents should have to pay a fine or tax if their child’s immunizations aren’t up to date. (File)

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

Should parents get financial compensation for making sure their child is fully vaccinated?

A study, released Wednesday by the BC Children’s Hospital and UBC, suggests nearly 30 per cent of British Columbians agree with the idea of giving parents a tax break if their child has all age-recommended vaccinations. Another 20 per cent agree with an even further idea: Parents receiving some kind of financial reward, and not simply a tax credit.

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

Lead researcher Dr. Julie Bettinger mainly examined public opinion as to how far government should go in forcing immunizations. Her study was conducted in 2017, but its results remain relevant because of the recent measles cases throughout B.C.

About 23 per cent of British Columbians agree with parents having to pay a fine or tax if their child’s immunizations aren’t up to date. Another 10 per cent agreed parents who lose their jobs should be denied unemployment benefits if their children aren’t immunized.

“Some other countries have implemented policies that create financial penalties for not vaccinating, but our research indicates such measures would not be acceptable to most British Columbians,” said Bettinger.

“Our research provides a snapshot of popular attitudes towards vaccines and vaccine policy. It is important context for policy makers tackling the growing public health issue of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illness.”

Eighty per cent of survey respondents supported requiring parents to report their child’s vaccination status at school, as well as requiring “anti-vaxxers” to sign a form stating their choice not to comply with medical advice.

READ MORE: Measles vaccine registry likely for B.C. schools this fall

The vast majority of respondents also supported mandatory education sessions for parents who do not vaccinate their children and even banning unvaccinated kids from school, unless they have a medical exemption.

Meanwhile, BC Children’s Hospital said previous research suggests one to three per cent of people cannot be persuaded to vaccinate at all, and that 15 to 20 per cent are unsure and want more information.

The growing number of confirmed cases of measles in B.C., now at 27, has prompted the province to implement at-school clinics for children to get the shot, as well as a plans for a registry for vaccination status this fall.

The study was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and funded by the British Columbia Immunization Committee, which makes recommendations to the Ministry of Health on the implementation of a new or revised vaccine program.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

OPINION: The more walkable a city, the more liveable it is

New pedestrian advocacy group, Walk in Nanaimo, being formed

Homelessness Action Week a call for citizens to see the issue in a new light

Homelessness Action Week Oct. 13-19 includes coffee talk, facility tours, film screening

Nanaimo Clippers thankful after three straight wins on road trip

City’s junior A hockey club wins seventh in a row, trades alternate captain

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Empower court system, RCMP to curb crime

Justice system gives free rides to repeat offenders, says letter writer

Nanaimo Ladysmith school district deciding how best to provide menstrual products for students

Early cost estimates tag $75,000 for product dispensers; trustees seek student consultation

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

Proposed 76-unit residential development would neighbour north Nanaimo mall

Council approves first and second reading of re-zoning application for 4961 Songbird Pl.

Map on Elections Canada site sends voters to Cedar landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

Nanaimo software designer creates hunting-themed card game

Duck Buck Moose involves skill, cunning and luck of the draw

Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates compare, contrast platforms on debate stage

Energy policy, veterans’ affairs and more debated Thursday at Beban Park

City council mulls emergency medical responder training for firefighters

Council directs staff to prepare report on firefighter medical training upgrades

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Most Read