As COVID-10 vaccines are now on the horizon, the debate resumes over whether they should be mandatory (iStock/Pornpak Khunatorn)

Covid vaccine may be the answer but many Canadians say they’d wait

Canadians concerned about possible side-effects of a new vaccine

A vaccine against the SARS-CoV2 virus is seen by authorities as the desperately needed solution to the current pandemic.

However as the world rushes toward development of a such a vaccine a new survey of Canadians shows a high degree of hesitancy.

While a majority of Canadians would want to be vaccinated, the non-profit Angus Reid Institute shows a clear split between those who’d get it as soon as its available (39%) and those who say they’d wait (38%) to see if there are side effects before being vaccinated. Some 16 per cent say they would not want the vaccine at all, with almost all (92%) of that group saying it’s due to concerns of possible side effects.

Angus Reid Inst. Oct 2020

Indeed of the respondents, seven in ten (69%) say they have some concern about possible side effects including four in ten (41%) of those who’d get vaccinated right away. This concern seems to have affected responses as the number of those wishing to get the vaccine as soon as it’s available has dropped by 13 points in the last two months.

Angus Reid Inst. Oct 2020

Meanwhile, acceptance of mask wearing rules has increased with 84 per cent now saying they wear a mask always or most of the time when around people in public. This is up 30 points from July.   (This however may not be because of a change in attitude, but rather because it’s become mandatory in most regions and in almost all stores and public buildings. This includes one of the most populous provinces, Quebec, where it’s a provincial law, and in the most populous province, Ontario, where it’s obligatory in most cities).

Angus Reid Inst. Oct 2020

Over 80 per cent of respondents to the national survey also said masks should be mandatory. Most Canadians also felt the guidance from provincial premiers has been clear (62%) with a slightly higher number (67%) saying guidance from the provincial health officer has been clear.

However guidance from Canada’s Chief  Health officer, Dr Theresa Tam seems to have been less clear to Canadians with 59 per cent saying her messaging has been clear.

additional information – sources

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