WEEKS of questions, blood clot concerns and changing guidance over who should receive the AstraZeneca vaccine has had a devastating impact on Canadian confidence in it.
New public opinion data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds just 41 per cent of Canadians who are yet unvaccinated – but intend to be – are comfortable with receiving an AZ vaccine, currently comprising about 20 per cent of Canada’s stockpile.
The survey’s findings show that while urgency to be inoculated against COVID-19 climbs again to an all time high, critical doubts about one of the main brands that make up this country’s vaccine program could result in Canadians opting not to be vaccinated at all if a dose of AstraZeneca were the only option on offer.
Nearly one-quarter (23%) of those who haven’t yet received a vaccine but intend to say they would reject a dose from AstraZeneca outright if that is the brand being administered to them.
Levels of discomfort increase considerably among women over the age of 34, two-in-five of whom say they are ‘extremely uncomfortable’ with the idea of receiving the AstraZeneca dose.
Against the backdrop of these doubts, public health officials and politicians must also battle skepticism over another critical aspect of COVID-19 related data: the very number of people who have been infected. Fully one-in-five people in this country believe the federal government has been inflating COVID-19 statistics, that the real figures are lower, while fewer than a third think the official data is accurate (32%).
More Key Findings:
- Assessment of vaccine rollout by provincial governments has worsened in Manitoba and Ontario but improved in most regions over the past month. Residents in Quebec, Atlantic Canada, Saskatchewan are most positive.
- Despite receiving more doses of COVID-19 vaccines in recent weeks, Canadians remain divided about the federal government’s procurement efforts. 45 per cent have confidence in the Liberal government to handle procurement and distribution to the provinces; 50 per cent do not.
- Desire to be vaccinated continues to rise. 69 per cent of Canadians have either had at least one dose or would like to be vaccinated as soon as possible