People line up at walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine in Montreal, on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. A new Leger poll suggests Canadian confidence in COVID-19 vaccines is holding firm despite swirling confusion and concern about the safety of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

People line up at walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine in Montreal, on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. A new Leger poll suggests Canadian confidence in COVID-19 vaccines is holding firm despite swirling confusion and concern about the safety of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Vaccine confidence in Canada holds steady despite AstraZeneca safety concerns: poll

Almost 40 per cent of Canadians have now been vaccinated with at least one dose

A new Leger poll suggests Canadian confidence in COVID-19 vaccines is holding firm despite swirling confusion and concern about the safety of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

It also suggests Canadians are largely open to the idea of vaccine passports but support them more for travel than for everyday activities like dining out or going to a concert or shopping mall.

The poll by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies surveyed 1,529 Canadians online for the poll between May 7 and May 9. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

More than eight in 10 Canadian respondents said they are either vaccinated already or plan to be when it’s their turn, almost identical to the number who said that in a similar poll taken a month ago.

It’s up from six in 10 people last October, and seven in 10 in January.

“Pretty much every government in the Western Hemisphere would be happy if 82 per cent of adults did get vaccinated,” said Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque.

Almost 40 per cent of Canadians have now been vaccinated with at least one dose, and government officials have said at least 75 per cent need to be vaccinated to get close to herd immunity against COVID-19.

That overall confidence in the vaccine comes despite the potential link to a rare but serious blood clotting syndrome from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. In the two weeks before the poll was taken, 12 Canadians were diagnosed with VITT, and three of them died, out of more than two million people vaccinated with AstraZeneca.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended April 23 that people at low risk from COVID-19 wait to get vaccinated until they can access Pfizer or Moderna rather than get AstraZeneca immediately. They said the same thing about J&J on May 3.

Confidence in those vaccines is down following those remarks.

More than eight in 10 people surveyed said they trust Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which aren’t linked to the clots at all. Comparatively fewer than half those surveyed expressed trust in AstraZeneca or J&J.

A month ago almost seven in 10 Canadians had confidence in J&J and a little more than half in AstraZeneca.

The vast majority of Canadians won’t have to worry about it, however, as about 85 per cent of vaccine doses given out as of May 1 were Pfizer or Moderna, and more than 88 per cent of doses expected in the next two months are the same. All Canadians over the age of 12 should have access to their first dose before the end of June.

The poll also suggests almost three-quarters of Canadians want a vaccine passport to be given out for free once they’ve been inoculated.

But support for such passports varies depending on how they are to be used.

About eight in 10 support them being required for domestic or international travel, compared to about six in 10 who think it’s OK for the government or business owners to require vaccine passports for everything from going out for dinner, to taking in a concert or a hockey game, or getting your hair done.

Only half said they think store owners should require them for non-essential retail shopping.

Support for vaccine passports overall is lowest in Alberta, at just over 50 per cent, and among people under 55.

The Canadian government has said it will align with international allies on a system for providing proof of vaccination status but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been very unenthusiastic about the idea of using vaccine passports for activities within Canada.

Bourque said support is also lowest for the idea of governments not allowing people to work in health care or other government jobs unless they get vaccinated.

“You can’t deprive somebody from making their living … I think that’s where Canadians seem to be setting the limit,” he said.

READ MORE: COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirusvaccines

Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Danny Fulton receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 27. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Drop-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic planned for Kelowna

Clinic at Kelowna Secondary School from June 22 to 24 from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Most Read