This week saw the news that, not one, but two very promising COVID-19 vaccines are being tested and showing amazing results. Vaccine candidates from Moderna and Pfizer have shown a more than 90% effective rate in fast-tracked clinical trials. More testing and rollout may still be a long ways away.
Still, Canadians appear to be turning against mandatory COVID-19 inoculations whenever a vaccine becomes available, with a recent poll suggesting the number of people opposed to the idea is increasing.
The poll by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies shows that while the majority of respondents in earlier polls had said they were in favour of the government’s requiring people get inoculated once a vaccine is discovered, the new poll found that was no longer the case.
Only 39 per cent of respondents said getting a vaccine should be mandatory, a decline of 18 percentage points from a similar poll conducted in July and more than 20 points lower than in May.
Fifty-four per cent of respondents instead said a vaccine should be voluntary, an 11-percentage-point increase from July and 15 since May. Six per cent of respondents said they did not know.
In more recent data released in November, based on the information provided about the announcement of the vaccine developed by Pfizer:
- 37% of Canadians and 30% of Americans say they would be more likely to take the first vaccine when it is available
- 33% of Canadians and 23% of Americans say they will wait for other vaccines to be available
- 12% of Canadians and 23% of Americans say they will not take any vaccine
- 18% of Canadians and 24% of Americans don’t know what they will do
- After a vaccine becomes widely available in their country, 63% of Canadians and 50% of Americans think COVID-19 safety measures will remain. The proportion of Canadians who think so has increased by 18% since late August of 2020.
At least, for now, among the months and months of bad news, the news of extremely effective vaccines represents a light at the end of the tunnel.