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48% of Canadians say they will get COVID-19 vaccine right away: poll

The percentage of people who are willing to get an early vaccination continues to rise
A new poll finds that Canadians over 65 are the most likely to say they will be immunized as soon as possible, with 61 per cent of the demographic confirming they are eager.  Photo via zoranm / Getty Images

A new survey finds that Canadians are increasingly more willing to be immunized against coronavirus (COVID-19) as soon as a vaccine is available to them.

A month ago, the not-for-profit Angus Reid Institute asked Canadians how willing they would be to take a vaccine once it is available. The poll found that 40 per cent were keen to be vaccinated as soon as possible. However, in its most recent survey, 48 per cent say they will take the vaccine as soon as it is available to them, a boost of eight per cent. 

Report authors comment that it might have been the "first, chipper, elderly patients in Britain who spoke about their experience that has made the difference," or that the conversation around vaccines, "from abstract concept to tangible reality has had an impact."

The poll finds that Canadians over 65 are the most likely to say they will be immunized as soon as possible, with 61 per cent of the demographic confirming they are eager. 

But while more Canadians express a desire to get vaccinated early, the report notes that the number of people who say "will not get a vaccine has remained static at roughly one-in-seven." However, this rate "varies from province to province." 

Trudeau government and vaccination 

Despite some early critiques, half of Canadians say Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has done a “good job” securing vaccines for Canada.

The majority of residents (58 per cent) also express confidence in the Trudeau government's ability to effectively manage distribution nationally

vaccine-taking-willingness-canada.jpgPhoto via Angus Reid Institute

Less agreement on mandatory vaccination

When it comes to mandatory vaccination, a staggering 71 per cent of Canadians say frontline health and long-term care workers must be immunized. 

But beyond healthcare workers, report authors note that there is less consensus on who needs to be vaccinated in Canada.

In order to work at schools, Canadians are divided. Half of the respondents believe a person should have to be vaccinated in order to work at schools, and two-in-five "would extend mandatory inoculation to those who work in public spaces or wish to attend large gatherings such as concerts or sports events."

One-in-five Canadians say vaccination shouldn’t be a requirement under any circumstances.

More Key Findings

  • There is near unanimous agreement that older and more at-risk people should get the vaccine first. Fewer than one-in-ten say it should be “first come first serve”.
  • Among those who say they would wait to be vaccinated or not get a vaccine at all, the majority (70%) express concerns over the potential for long-term side effects.
  • Asked whether vaccination should be mandatory in certain scenarios or places, a majority say it should be for healthcare workers and those in extended care homes.

Read the full report here.

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