POLL – Three-in-five worry about side-effects of a vaccine; many plan to take a ‘wait and see’ approach

Angus Reid

Vancouver (Angus Reid) – Health experts have warned a true post-COVID-19 “return to normal” –  resumption of life that includes large gatherings, international travel, and no longer measuring one’s social life by a ‘bubble’ – may not occur until long after a critical mass of Canadians receive a yet-to-be developed vaccine.

When and if a coronavirus vaccine becomes widely available in Canada remains unknown, but debate and discussion over who should get it first, whether vaccination should be mandatory, and worries about potential side effects are already permeating the public sphere.

The latest data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds Canadians largely unified in intention to be vaccinated but divided over how soon they’d avail themselves of the dose.

Half of Canadians say they have no reservations and are ready to get a vaccination as soon as it becomes available. However, one-in-three (32%) say they would likely wait a while.

One characteristic that divides these two groups is worry over potential side effects from a new and potentially quickly developed immunization. The majority of those who say they will wait to get the vaccine also say they are worried about side effects (76%). By contrast, among those who are eager to get it, half as many (37%) carry that concern.

More Key Findings:

  • Three-quarters of Canadians say that a coronavirus vaccine should be mandatory in extended care homes and for healthcare workers. Three-in-five say this of schools (63%).
  • The vast majority of Canadians say that life will not go back to normal in their community until people are vaccinated. This drops to 59 per cent among rural residents but rises to 77 per cent among urbanites.
  • Those who supported the Liberals or New Democrats in the 2019 election are overwhelmingly in favour of seeking vaccination – nine-in-ten say they will do so. This drops to three-in-five among past CPC voters.

Read the rest of the story here: www.angusreid.org/coronavirus-vaccine

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