Vaccination hesitancy drops dramatically in B.C.; most highly satisfied with vaccination experience

IN stark contrast to only eight short weeks ago, COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy has since plummeted as the majority of BC adults have had their first dose of vaccine and of those who have not, there are far more who are likely than who are unlikely to receive it. Of those who have received it, an Insights West survey shows very high satisfaction levels with the process.

In addition to the 75% of adults British Columbians who have already received their first vaccination, the remaining number is divided between the 10% who are 100% certain to get the vaccine, 5% who are likely, 3% who are unlikely and 5% who are 100% certain they will not get the vaccine (the final 2% were unsure).

In Insights West’s previous poll two months ago, only 16% of British Columbians had received their first dose and just 43% were 100% certain they would get one, leaving 23% showing some form of hesitancy. Recent results show a significant shift in perceptions have happened in a relatively short time period.

Satisfaction levels with the process and experience of getting the COVID-19 vaccination in British Columbia are extremely high across the province. On an overall basis, 92% of those who have received a vaccine are satisfied, with 55% expressing that they are ‘extremely satisfied’, 26% ‘somewhat satisfied’, and 12% ‘somewhat satisfied’ with the vaccination experience. Only 8% express dissatisfaction; this dissatisfaction seems higher among those who experienced their vaccination through a pharmacy or a pop-up clinic as opposed to those who received it through a registered clinic; dissatisfaction levels are more than twice as high among this segment (15% compared to 6%).

Interestingly, NDP voters are significantly more satisfied (65% are ‘extremely satisfied’) than Liberal voters (45%). No other significant demographic differences exist.

Insights West measured different aspects of the COVID-19 vaccination experience and although overall satisfaction levels are high overall, there are some differences when it comes to individual elements of the process. The highest ratings are given for the courtesy and friendliness of staff in the process, with 74% reporting being ‘extremely satisfied’. Ratings of information provided at the clinic, the efficiency and length of the overall process and accuracy of appointment times all receive extremely high satisfaction levels (between 62% and 65% extremely satisfied).

Slightly lower satisfaction ratings were received for the overall convenience of the vaccine clinic’s location (57% extremely satisfied), and the lowest ratings were reserved for the ease of booking the appointment (54%), and the comfort of the waiting area post-vaccination (50%). Those who had their vaccine at a pop-up clinic or pharmacy have measurably lower ratings for the ease of booking the appointment (16% dissatisfied versus 7% for those who booked at a registered clinic).

“British Columbians have come a long way at the tail end of this pandemic in accepting the vaccines that are available and many of the the hesitations that we identified two months ago have lessened significantly,” says Steve Mossop, President of Insights West. “There is only a small core group of 5% now who will definitely not get the vaccine, giving us hope that we can go beyond the 80% threshold to achieve the ‘herd immunity’ that so many experts have been telling us is essential to getting our lives back to normal.”

He said: “The other surprising finding is the extremely high satisfaction levels with the vaccination process and experience—which runs counter to the many media and social media stories about confusion around how and when to get the vaccine. It’s likely that these positive experiences overall have had an impact on countering the hesitations that residents had prior to widespread vaccinations becoming available.”