COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy plunges but one-tenth of population remains unwilling

VANCOUVER – As the rate of Canadians who have been vaccinated with at least one-dose of a COVID-19 vaccine surges to more than 50 per cent of the adult population, new data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute shows Canadians have moved consistently and significantly away from attitudes of “don’t know” or “wait and see” to a place of “getting it done”.

The institute’s most recent public opinion survey shows 53 per cent of adults reporting they have received their first vaccine, while another 29 per cent say they would like to receive theirs as soon as possible. The number who say they are unwilling to receive a vaccine is also trending down – though at a much slower rate.

In the eyes of Canadians, however, not all vaccines are created equally. Just one-third (35%) now say they are comfortable receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Most provinces have paused the use of that brand as a first dose and are administering it for subsequent doses only. The two vaccines that are being used for most vaccinations, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, continue to be viewed in a much more positive light.

No regrets

That said, the vast majority of those who have already received at least one dose of AstraZeneca express no regrets. Nearly half (48%) say they’re totally pleased with their decision, while nearly the same number (44%) say that while Pfizer or Moderna would have been better, they’re okay with their choice. A mere two per cent of this group expresses total regret.

Data from Alberta reflects massive declines in hesitancy and unwillingness since the beginning of the year, from 45 per cent at the end of January, to 17 per cent now

Saskatchewan remains home to the most vaccine hesitant or unwilling, one-in-four (24%) in that province remain unconvinced about COVID-19 vaccination.

Despite declining numbers of those who say outright they will refuse vaccination, age and gender remain notable variables. At least one-in-ten men aged 18 to 54 and women aged 35 to 54 continue to say no to being jabbed.