Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy
Vaccine hesitancy is described as a delay in acceptance or refusal to vaccinate, despite the availability of vaccination services. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine hesitancy is now one of the top 10 threats to global health, despite robust evidence showing the effectiveness and safety of vaccines. The WHO also acknowledges that health care professionals are among the most trusted sources of information when parents make decisions regarding vaccination.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, issued a statement on March 12, 2019 regarding the current measles outbreak and vaccine hesitancy. In this statement, she urged her fellow healthcare provider colleagues to take the time to answer the questions of concerned parents and direct them to credible and reliable sources of information.
Licensed health care professionals can play a critical role in promoting vaccine acceptance in Canada by communicating sound, evidence-based information in their daily practice.
For more information:
- Government of Canada, Vaccines and Immunization
- Immunize Canada
- Canadian Paediatric Society
- Provincial and territorial ministries of health
- Canadian Vaccination Evidence Resource and Exchange Centre (CANVax)