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Canadians split on whether feds can make good on vaccine delivery promise

Last Updated Feb 16, 2021 at 8:41 am PST

FILE - A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Summary

Canadians seem to be losing faith in federal government when it comes to country's delay in COVID-19 vaccinations

Leger survey finds just more than half of Canadians surveyed blame feds for lack of movement on COVID-19 vaccines

Trudeau government so far maintaining promise that all Canadians who want COVID-19 shot will get one by end of Sept.

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Canada continues to crawl toward its goal of vaccinating every person who wants a COVID-19 shot by September. But new polling shows Canadians are split over whether they believe the federal government will meet its goal or not.

The new numbers from Leger show Canadians put the blame almost squarely on the federal government as the main issue continues to be procurement.

Vaccine availability is expected to increase as 2021 rolls along and Pfizer and other vaccine manufacturers finish retooling their overseas factories.

Related video: Canada will hit 1Q COVID-19 vaccination target: Fortin

But it is little comfort for those in long-term care or working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted the globe for more than a year.

Leger has found that just more than half of Canadians surveyed — 51 per cent — doubt the federal government will be able to keep its promise to have every person who wants a vaccine inoculated by the fall.

Canadians most in doubt are in Quebec, where 56 per cent of people either said they were not very confident or not confident at all that the government would achieve its vaccination objective.

They were followed by 53 per cent of Ontarians who also had their doubts. People in Atlantic Canada were the most confident that the objective would be met, with 58 per cent of people saying they were either very confident or somewhat confident.

When it comes to who is at fault, 69 per cent of Canadians blame the “federal government’s capacity to obtain doses of the vaccine on the global market.”

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British Columbians appear most likely to blame the federal government, with 76 per cent of people saying so.

Only about 14 per cent of Canadians polled said they doubt their respective provincial governments’ failing to distribute doses, with 11 per cent of British Columbians blaming the B.C. NDP.

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NACI updates guidelines to push racialized communities up priority list

Meanwhile, Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is updating its guidelines to say people from racialized communities overly impacted by the pandemic as well as essential workers should be next up in stage two, even ahead of some older Canadians.

Stage two is expected to begin this spring in Canada, with the expectation that all staff and residents of long-term care homes, adults aged 70 or older, front-line health workers and adults in Indigenous communities are inoculated.

NACI has also added a third stage to its immunization recommendations that includes people between 16 and 59 years old with underlying conditions, those who are between 50 and 59 years old with no underlying conditions, and health workers and essential workers who are not vaccinated yet.