Ontario health officials are raising the alarm over “vaccine hesitancy.”

Dr. Sohail Gandhi is the president of the Ontario Medical Association. He says, “Vaccine hesitancy is on the rise in North America... we are getting more and more questions in our own practices.”

Just in time for flu season, officials have launched a campaign (askontariodoctors.ca) to counter the spread of anti-vaccine myths, and direct parents towards legitimate sources on information.

Ottawa Public Health is joining the campaign. Dr. Trevor Arnason says, “The World Health Organization has declared hesitancy to vaccines as one of the top emerging threats in health care

Vaccine hesitancy is defined as a reluctance or complete refusal to get vaccines or to have one's children vaccinated. 

According to the OMA, more than 60-percent of parents admit to seeking out vaccine information online.

Arnason says, “Social media allows for faster communication between people to grow that may be a reason why people are questioning things.”

Wednesday morning, Ontario’s Health Minister Christine Elliott got her annual flu shot in Toronto. Elliott says getting vaccinated is not only a way to protect against the flu, but also end hallway medicine. Elliott says, “Last year over 5-thousand Ontarians were hospitalized because of the flu.”

Ottawa Public Health flu clinics start on Saturday November 2. Click here for a full list.