“Vaccine hesitancy.” That’s a word we all need to get used to, because that’s the new label being placed on parents who are suspicious of vaccines and autism. When 1,000 Canadian parents with children under 5 years of age were surveyed, Canada discovered it has a real bad case of “vaccine hesitancy.” And now Public Health officials say they want to change the script. In other words, sing a different tune in hopes of convincing those at least 25% to get their children vaccinated. This according to the Ottawa Citizen.
The survey was led by Josh Greenberg, director of Carleton University’s school of journalism and communications. It is one component of a larger project by the Canadian Immunization Research Network aimed at better understanding how parents make decisions about vaccinating their children.
Greenberg said the survey reveals some worrisome attitudes.
“Vaccine ‘hesitancy’ is a real phenomenon that we have to be concerned about,” he said.
“Hard-line anti-vaxxers are a very small number, but there is some anxiety about the rising number of people who are vaccine hesitant … People who are vaccine hesitant may go and get all of their immunizations but it doesn’t allay the fears and worries that they have.”
Vaccination rates aren’t incredibly low in all of Canada, with the exceptions of some Toronto schools. But vaccination rates are decreasing. And “vaccine hesitancy,” as they term it, means that parents are shifting their thoughts, doing research, and coming up with contrasting answers to Public Health officials “company lines.” The first move here, of course, is Government overreach in harsh legislations (here). Thousands of kids face suspensions due to vaccine records not being “updated.”
The concerning part of the original article comes towards the end.
The larger research project is aimed at trying to better understand anti-vaxxers and those who are hesitant about vaccines.
This is where you worry. This means Public Health officials intend to find ways to influence the herd. For example, in the Toronto article I linked earlier, they plan to force parents of exempt children to come in for a “meeting.” This tactic is designed to humiliate the parent and potentially brainwash them. It really is an invasion of privacy. In addition, these surveys tend to be opportunities to find out how to generate more responsive marketing. Just like Coca Cola tries to stay as “trendy” as possible and Shingles vaccine commercials play to your fear, vaccine makers will deploy similar tactics based largely on surveys.