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

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Most Read