Vaccines aren't just for kids

Oct 14, 2014, 07:59 ET from Pfizer Canada Inc.

Survey of Canadian adults finds that 80 per cent believe child and adult vaccinations
are of equal importance

KIRKLAND, QC, Oct. 14, 2014 /CNW/ - There were more than 150 Canadian news reports about vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks between September 2013 and April 2014.2 Amongst these reports were calls from the Public Health Agency of Canada3 to ensure children are vaccinated against the diseases they are most susceptible to – but what about adults? A new survey of Canadians finds that 60 per cent of Canadian adults believe more attention should be paid to adult vaccination, yet more than half (54 per cent) rarely or never discuss this topic with their doctor.4

"Think of vaccines and often what comes to mind is a teary-eyed child at the doctor's office. But vaccination is as important for grown-ups as it is for children – and yet many adults are not optimally vaccinated," says Dr. Vivien Brown, Board Member, Immunize Canada, representing the College of Family Physicians. "As one of the most important advances in public health, immunization is a topic that needs to be raised more often between physicians and their patients; unfortunately, the fact remains that almost half of Canadian adults wouldn't pass a test if quizzed on their vaccination knowledge."

VacciNATION Survey: What Canadian Adults Think About Vaccination
Currently there are no mandatory vaccines for adults;5 however, more than one-in-five Canadians believe they should be mandatory in order to increase vaccination rates among adults.4 When asked what else could be done to increase vaccination rates, Canadians said:4

  • Eighty-two per cent believe they need to take responsibility for their own vaccination needs;
  • Sixty per cent believe their physicians can support them by being more up-front about the need for vaccination;
  • Fifty-seven per cent believe their physician should provide information to skeptics; and,
  • Almost half of Canadians (49 per cent) believe there should be more media campaigns alerting the need for adult vaccines.

Myths vs. Facts – Would You Pass or Fail a Vaccine Quiz?
When it comes to knowledge and understanding of vaccines, many myths persist. Despite the amount of information available to Canadians, over 40 per cent didn't make the grade on their vaccine knowledge.4 In fact:4

  • In Quebec and Atlantic Canada, 48 per cent would not pass;
  • In Ontario, 38 per cent would not pass;
  • In British Columbia, 36 per cent would not pass; and,
  • In Alberta, 35 per cent would not pass.

"Vaccines are not just for children; prevention of infection by immunization is a lifelong journey," says Dr. Brown. "As people age their immune system starts to decline, resulting in an increased risk of infection as they get older. In Canada, there are a number of vaccines available to all adults."

About Pfizer in Canada
Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., one of the world's leading biopharmaceutical companies. Our diversified health care portfolio includes some of the world's best known and most prescribed medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer Canada employees work to bring therapies to patients that significantly improve patients' lives. Pfizer is a major contributor to health research in Canada. We apply science and our global resources to improve the health and well-being of Canadians at every stage of life. Our commitment is reflected in everything Pfizer does, from our disease awareness initiatives to our community partnerships. To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit or you can follow us on Twitter (="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> or Facebook ( 

Note to Editor

About The Survey4

  • Data collection for the study was conducted online between March 28 and April 4, 2014.
  • A sample size of 2,001 Canadians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample. The poll is accurate to within +/- 2.5 percentage points.




Public Health Agency of Canada. Canadian Immunization Guide. Accessed September 19, 2014.


FPInfomart Scan


Measles Outbreak Prompts Officials to Issue National Plea for Vaccination. The Globe and Mail. Accessed September 19, 2014.


Adult vacciNATION Survey. Ipsos Reid. Sponsored by Pfizer Canada Inc.


Public Health Agency of Canada. Canadian Immunization Guide. Accessed September 19, 2014.

SOURCE Pfizer Canada Inc.