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Online searches about COVID-19 vaccines up 800% in Canada: research

Last Updated Apr 14, 2021 at 5:37 pm PDT

EDMONTON — Vaccines are dominating the Canadian headlines and it turns out, they’re also leading our online searches.

New data shows we’re turning to our computers for information, with an 800 per cent increase on one topic in particular: vaccines.

“Every possible question around AstraZeneca vaccine, about the thrombosis, the deaths, the situation in Europe, how many were cancelling vaccines in their societies,” said Fernando Angulo, the head of communications for software company SEMrush.

But the evolving data also suggests that perhaps we’re starting to look ahead to a post-pandemic life.

“Let’s say a month ago, people were searching the side effects, right now, well two weeks ago, they were searching the vaccine passports.”



Looking at global trends, Canadians are among the hungriest when it comes to consuming COVID-19 info in Google’s trending topic ranks.

“So, let’s say for New Zealand, it’s not trending because they are a COVID-free country. But in terms of, for example, in Germany, it’s nine. In Canada, it’s seven.”

Canadians’ pandemic curiosity isn’t limited to vaccines. Job searches were trending in 2020, but have subsided into 2021.

This, as other prominent searches from the past 12 months remain as strong as ever.

“It was more about online education and e-commerce and well-being in health, home support – everything around yoga, apps at home, working out at home,” said Angulo.

While some might see the growth in vaccine searches as a sign that Canadians are worried about what lies ahead, data analysts say it’s actually a positive indicator.

“These changing behaviours are showing that people want to be informed and that they are looking really deeply into the information that Google is offering.”