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How many Canadians are ready to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Last Updated Feb 11, 2021 at 7:06 am PST

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
Summary

Survey finds 64 per cent of people would welcome a COVID-19 vaccine and would take the needle without any hesitation

Experts have said a minimum 75 per cent vaccination rate is needed to achieve good herd immunity

Only 60 per cent of those surveyed in their 20s and 30s say they trust the vaccines, survey finds

TORONTO – The lack of trust in COVID-19 vaccines is being called concerning after a new poll that shows more than a third of Canadians still aren’t ready to receive a shot.

Canada-wide, 64 per cent of people would welcome a COVID-19 vaccine and would take the needle without any hesitation, according to a survey by Proof Strategies.

“I would get it, yeah,” one man said, adding he believes the shot is safe and effective. “I trust the science behind it.”

However, 64 per cent is short of the minimum 75 per cent vaccination rate experts believe is needed to achieve good herd immunity.

Millennial and Generation Z respondents appear to be the ones dragging down the confidence numbers in the latest survey, with some telling us they want to see what possible side effects are associated with the COVID-19 vaccines before rolling up their own sleeves.

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Only 60 per cent of those surveyed in their 20s and 30s say they trust the vaccines and note the delayed rollout has only increased their doubts and anxieties.

The survey was conducted online with about 1,500 respondents between Jan. 8 and Jan. 20.

The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error as they are not random and therefore are not necessarily representative of the whole population.

More than 220,000 Canadians are now fully vaccinated with the two doses the current Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require, and almost 930,000 people have received single doses so far.

However, in recent weeks, there have been disruptions in vaccine delivery to Canada. Pfizer-BioNTech was forced to delay some of its shipments because it was upgrading its facilities in Belgium. Moderna has also reduced vaccine deliveries for February, although the company has not given a reason yet.

Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said earlier this month that Health Canada has data that suggests about 10 per cent of the population is not going to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and there is little that could change their minds. She said another 20 per cent or so don’t currently want to be inoculated but could be persuaded.

Tam said some of the questions people have are relatively easy to answer, including some fear about how quickly the vaccines were developed, or questions about the data on how effective they are.

She noted there have been no serious adverse events after the vaccinations in Canada so far, and the more people who do get the shots safely, the more others may be convinced to follow suit.