Many Canadians still wary of vaccine: survey


ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Canadian health-care leaders may be relieved at the early arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, but a surprisingly large segment of the population still seems to have misgivings.

Fully one in 10 have even vowed not to get vaccinated, according to a recent survey by the Canadian health research and marketing firm Optimity.

A provincial breakdown was not given, but the majority of responses came from Ontario and British Columbia.

The survey found 59 per cent of respondents were concerned to some degree about possible long-term and short-term side effects. Only 63 per cent stated they definitely plan to get the vaccine, compared to 22 per cent who were undecided.

Of the 11 per cent not planning to get the vaccine, most cited insufficient research as the reason for their decision, even though scientists and political leaders have emphasized for months that no shortcuts were taken in the testing process. Of human trials, the last two of three phases overlapped, but were fully completed and results analyzed according to standard regulatory requirements.

“The insights from our COVID-19 vaccine survey reinforce the need for ongoing consumer education around the vaccine,” Jane Wang, founder and CEO of Optimity Inc., stated in a news release. “With so many Canadians still on the fence about taking the vaccine, their ultimate decision can be informed through education by the Canadian government and other health-care organizations on the safety of the COVID vaccines, what it takes to achieve herd immunity, and other related key topics.”