Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 97, Issue 2, pp 139–141 | Cite as

Addressing the Emergence of Pediatric Vaccination Concerns

Recommendations from a Canadian Policy Analysis
  • Kumanan WilsonEmail author
  • Meredith Barakat
  • Edward Mills
  • Paul Ritvo
  • Heather Boon
  • Sunita Vohra
  • Alejandro R. Jadad
  • Allison McGeer


Ever since the advent of pediatric vaccination, individuals have expressed concerns about both its risks and benefits. These concerns have once again resurfaced among some segments of the population and could potentially undermine national vaccination programs. The views of the public, however, must be considered and respected in the formulation of vaccination policy. We have conducted an analysis of the pediatric vaccination “debate” in the Canadian context. We believe that there is common ground between those who support pediatric vaccination and those who are concerned about these programs. Based on our findings, we believe that the goal of public health authorities should be to maintain trust in vaccines by continuing to meet certain reciprocal responsibilities. To do so, we recommend the following: 1) increased investment in adverse event reporting systems; 2) request for proposals for consideration of a no-fault compensation program; 3) developing pre-emptive strategies to deal with potential vaccine risks; 4) further examination of mechanisms to improve communication between physicians and parents concerned about vaccination. All of these approaches would require additional investment in pediatric vaccination. However, such an investment is easy to justify given the benefits offered by pediatric vaccination and the ramifications of failing to maintain confidence in vaccination programs or missing a vaccine-related adverse event.

MeSH terms

Vaccination pediatric policy adverse events risk 


On s’interroge sur les risques et les avantages de la vaccination pédiatrique depuis ses touts débuts. De telles préoccupations commencent à resurgir dans certains segments de la population et pourraient miner les programmes de vaccination nationaux. Les points de vue du public doivent néanmoins être pris en compte et respectés lors de la formulation des politiques de vaccination. Nous avons analysé le « débat » sur la vaccination pédiatrique dans le contexte canadien. À notre avis, il y a des points communs entre les partisans de la vaccination pédiatrique et les personnes que ces programmes inquiètent. D’après nos constatations, nous croyons que l’objectif des autorités de santé publique doit être de préserver la confiance envers les vaccins tout en continuant de s’acquitter de certaines responsabilités réciproques. À cette fin, nous recommandons: 1) d’investir davantage dans les systèmes de notification des manifestations indésirables; 2) de lancer des appels d’offres en vue d’un programme d’indemnisation sans égard à la responsabilité; 3) d’élaborer des stratégies préventives pour composer avec les risques possibles des vaccins; et 4) d’examiner plus avant les mécanismes visant à améliorer la communication entre les médecins et les parents préoccupés par la vaccination. Toutes ces approches exigent des investissements supplémentaires dans la vaccination pédiatrique. De tels investissements sont toutefois faciles à justifier, vu les avantages de la vaccination pédiatrique et les retombées négatives d’un bris de confiance envers les programmes de vaccination ou du fait d’avoir négligé une manifestation postvaccinale indésirable.


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kumanan Wilson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Meredith Barakat
    • 1
  • Edward Mills
    • 3
    • 4
  • Paul Ritvo
    • 5
  • Heather Boon
    • 2
    • 6
  • Sunita Vohra
    • 7
  • Alejandro R. Jadad
    • 8
  • Allison McGeer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Health Policy, Management and EvaluationUniversity of TorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Clinical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  4. 4.Department of ResearchCanadian College of Naturopathic MedicineTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Department of Public Health ScienceUniversity of TorontoCanada
  6. 6.Leslie Dan Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of TorontoCanada
  7. 7.CARE Program, Department of PediatricsUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  8. 8.Centre for Global eHealth InnovationUniversity Health NetworkCanada

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