40% of Canadians will not get the vaccine

TORONTO – 40% of Canadians have no intention of getting the updated coronavirus vaccine: this is what emerges from a survey conducted by Ispos for Global News. The survey, conducted between October 20 and 23 on a sample of 1,000 Canadians over the age of 18, was released today and finds that of this 40%, 45% said they didn’t think it was worth doing the vaccine, 23% expressed concern about the safety of the injection while 7% said they were openly against the anti-Covid vaccine. 

“The narrative is changing” explains Sean Simpson, vice president of Ipsos. “When the vaccine first came out, most people supported mandatory shots because they were seen as a civic duty. Now it’s more of a personal choice”.

\Health Canada approved Moderna’s updated Covid-19 vaccine on September 12. A few weeks later, it gave the green light to Pfizer’s updated vaccine. Approval of the updated Novavax vaccine is under review and has not yet been announced. The updated mRNA vaccines are adapted to the XBB.1.5 Omicron subvariant circulating in the country and are recommended for anyone over six months old and who had their last Covid-19 infection or a vaccine dose more than six months ago.

Boosters and annual flu vaccines began rolling out across Canada in October. But, as we were saying, 40% of those interviewed by Ipsos may not receive the updated dose, while 60 percent said they had already received the recent dose or intended to receive it soon. “And that 60% goes for flu shots, too” Simpson says.

Simpson himself also states that the divide in attitudes towards vaccines is strongly influenced by age. “If you are over 55, you are much more likely to say that you have received (or will receive) the flu and Covid vaccines and that you follow the news on Covid-19. But 4 out of 10 respondents believe that the virus is no longer a concern for them and this feeling is higher among those aged 18 to 34 (52%) compared to 30% among those aged over 55. Including all age groups, more Half (53%) of Canadians said they had stopped following news about Covid-19 and government recommendations.

However, young people are the least willing to get the vaccine and, again in the interviews carried out for the survey, they admit that they are less likely to follow the anti-Covid recommendations compared to the elderly who instead follow them with greater diligence. The advice of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), in any case, remains the same: starting from the autumn of 2023, one dose of the XBB.1.5-containing formulation of the Covid-19 vaccine is recommended for individuals in the of authorized age if at least six months have passed since the previous injection or known SARS-CoV-2 infection (whichever is later).

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