A record number of Canadians say they intend to get one of the vaccines for COVID-19 when it is available to them.
According to the latest Leger poll, the percentage of Canadians who plan to get either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Oxford AstraZeneca shot is 80 per cent. That is up from 63 per cent who said they would last October.
Ontario’s polling numbers were slightly lower. The survey showed 77 per cent of residents in this province intend to get vaccinated, while 14 per cent said no, and the remainder were not sure.Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.
It is good news for public health officials who hope enough Canadians are vaccinated to achieve herd immunity from the virus. However, even if all those people are immunized, it may not be enough to achieve it. Chief Medical Advisor Doctor Supriya Sharma recently told a House of Commons committee the threshold might be higher, more like 85- or 90 per cent.
Those who said no had a variety of reasons. An overwhelming majority, 94 per cent, said the long-term effects of the vaccine are still unknown. Eighty-six per cent fear the side effects will harm their health.
For all we have heard about the conspiracy theories surrounding the virus and its inoculation, only 23 per cent believe former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates has put a microchip in the shot, and a third do not believe the virus is a threat.
A poll by Angus Reid on Monday showed what company made the vaccine appears to weigh in on Canadians’ enthusiasm. Nine out of ten of those who took part in that poll and intended to get vaccinated said they trusted the vaccines made by Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna, but support fell to 41 per cent for the Oxford-AstraZeneca one.
Of those who did not trust the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot, 15 per cent said they would still take it if it was offered to them, and 23 per cent said they would reject it and wait until another brand was available.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been in the news a lot lately after reports of a small risk of blood clots post-inoculation.
Each week, the Leger survey tracks how Canadians see the pandemic progressing. A significant percentage still believe the worst is yet to come, 28 per cent across Canada and 25 per cent in Ontario. Most respondents think we are experiencing the worst now, 46 per cent and 53 per cent, respectively.
The survey also revealed that while most respondents are afraid of the virus spreading, the majority think retail stores should be open. In Ontario, 57 per cent of those who took part said that, compared to 69 per cent across the country. Most agree movie theatres and sports stadiums should remain closed, but there is a split on whether schools should shut down. In Ontario, over half said they should, signalling that there is support for Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s announcement Monday that students would return to full remote learning for the foreseeable future.
Leger surveyed 1,504 Canadians between April 9 and April 11, and the poll has a margin of error +/- 2.53 per cent of the time 19 times out of 20. The poll by Angus Reid involved 1,577 people and was taken between April 5 and April 8. It is considered accurate by a margin of +/- 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.