VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — More than half of Canadians have no reservations about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, but others would like to wait a while because they’re worried about potential side effects according to a new survey.
Shachi Kurl, with the Angus Reid Institute, explains to NEWS 1130, attitudes around vaccines come down to people’s general beliefs and attitudes.
“Some of this conversation, in some of these findings, really parallels or echoes the conversations we were having as a society, even before the pandemic happened,” she says.
“Conversations around flu vaccines and other vaccines were dividing into people who were sort of on the side of vaccines and science and those who have some concerns about the side effects of vaccinations or just did not believe in vaccinations.”
One-in-three people say they would be willing to be vaccinated but not immediately and about one-in-seven say that they will not get a vaccine, according to the study. Eight per cent are undecided.
People living in B.C. are also more inclined to get vaccinated compared to the rest of the country.
“We have some of the most vaccine enthusiastic people. Indeed, more than half of British Columbians just over half say that they would get a vaccine. As soon as one became available to them, that is the highest response rate of that nature in the country,” Kurl says.
And another “major dividing factor” is political.
“Vaccination willingness hovers around nine-in-ten for those who supported the Liberal Party and NDP in the last federal election, while it drops to 64 per cent among those who supported the CPC,” the survey reads.
A majority of Canadians also think a vaccine should be mandatory for extended care homes and healthcare workers.
And three-in-five say it should be required in schools.
“A majority says before schools open up, your child should have to be vaccinated if the vaccine is available, teachers, parents, principals administrators — anyone working at a school — should also have to be vaccinated,” she says. “The same idea, the same message, and the same sentiment goes for health care [workers].”
Although Kurl adds, a significant amount of people who would not get the vaccine themselves, say the vaccines should be mandatory for particular groups.
“One in four people who say that they would themselves not get the vaccine, say that health care workers should have to. The same goes for extended care homes,” she says. “So we call this the hypocrisy factor, ‘I wouldn’t get the vaccine myself, but you should have to get it.'”
Kurl adds the vast majority of Canadians say that life will not go back to normal in their community until people are vaccinated. This drops to 59 per cent among rural residents but rises to 77 per cent among urbanites.