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

Rob Kernachan editorial cartoon.
Editorial cartoonist focuses on Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day is the feature of Rob Kernachan’s contribution this week.… Continue reading

The grads of 2021 at Chemainus Secondary School will be resilient based on their experiences through COVID. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Making the most of grad events

Class of 2021 will carry resilience with them throughout their years based on COVID experience

COVID-19 has made the 2020-21 school year at Chemainus Secondary School interesting and challenging for graduates. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Chemainus Secondary School 2021 graduates

Here’s the young men and women who are embarking on life’s next journey

Girls just wanna have fun. From left: Danielle Dela Cruz, Melanie Cheng, Hanna Starkie, Camille Storteboom, Rebecca Rhode, Sian Diewert and Brianne Pamminger at the Crofton seawalk. (Photo by Alana Starkie)
Prom night brings some semblance of normalcy for 2021 Chemainus grads

Being together at least provides class members with some comfort

Tom Millard served his community well for so many years with the Chemainus Fire Department. (Photo submitted)
Millard dedicated himself to community service

Long-time Chemainus Fire Department member and chief remembered for his commitment

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

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

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

Most Read