National public health data finds vaccine rates for kids fall short

The study says 2.4 per cent of two-year-olds are estimated to be unvaccinated

New data suggests vaccination rates among Canadian children are falling short.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says none of the country’s national vaccination goals were met in any of the age groups surveyed in 2017.

Dr. Theresa Tam says that means more kids need their shots if we’re going to reach sufficient community immunity to prevent disease and outbreaks.

While at least 95 per cent of two-year-olds should ideally be covered, researchers found just 75.8 per cent received the multidose vaccine for diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus. Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island were the only provinces to cover more than 80 per cent, while Manitoba and Nunavut were below 70 per cent.

The study says 2.4 per cent of two-year-olds are estimated to be unvaccinated, with Atlantic Canada having the lowest unvaccinated rate at 1.3 per cent, while British Columbia had the highest at 3.9 per cent.

Among seven-year-olds, only girls vaccinated for rubella met the 95-per cent coverage goal at 95.8 per cent, versus 93.8 per cent for boys. That vaccine only requires one dose, compared to two doses for measles and mumps where the national rate was 87 per cent and 86.4 per cent, respectively.

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

Meanwhile, none of the three routine vaccines for adolescents met the national coverage goal of 90 per cent, although the Tdap booster came close at 89.3 per cent. Kids aged 14 and 17 get up to three routine vaccinations in school-based programs, depending on the jurisdiction, including for hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV).

The Public Health Agency of Canada routinely monitors childhood vaccination rates through the childhood National Immunization Coverage Survey, which began in 1994 and has been conducted approximately every two years.

Experts set vaccination goals in 2017, with the aim of reaching them by 2025.

Although the numbers fall short of ideal, Tuesday’s study said vaccination coverage among two- and seven-year-olds have not changed much in recent years.

The agency said an upcoming report will look at knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of Canadian parents regarding vaccination.

In other data, the survey found polio coverage for two-year-olds higher at 90.7 per cent, but Newfoundland and Labrador was the only province to reach the 95 per cent goal, at 96.9 per cent.

Other provinces and territories came close — including P.E.I. at 93.9 per cent, Nova Scotia at 93.5 per cent and the Yukon at 93.7 per cent. Coverage was lowest in British Columbia at 87.5 per cent, Manitoba at 85.6 per cent and Nunavut at 82.1 per cent.

Measles coverage for two-year-olds was 90.2 per cent but when doses administered to those under the recommended 12 months were excluded, coverage dropped to 87.6 per cent.

The lowest coverage for seven-year-olds involved five doses or more for diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, where only 80.5 per cent of kids were covered.

In 14-year-olds, HPV coverage in girls increased to 83 per cent from 74.6 per cent, likely due to increased availability and awareness of this relatively new vaccine, said the study.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. police watchdog group investigating after June 1 death of Kitimat man

The man was reported to have fallen a number of times while in police custody on May 30

Skeena MLA advocates for small LNG project in Terrace

Many questions unanswered about project, say opponents

CGL completes first in-field pipeline welds for Kitimat section of project

‘I never thought I’d live to see this day:’ Skeena MLA praises start of pipeline welding in Kitimat

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Housing committee recommends District deny strata application for 1425 Nalabila Boulevard

Council is set to consider the matter at their June 1 meeting

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

School District 82’s first week of in-person class is in the books

First classes held since schools closed March 17 due to COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read