A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Vaccine hesitancy decreases in B.C. as mass immunizations set to begin: poll

Two-thirds of British Columbians, and Canadians, would get the vaccine as soon as possible

Two-thirds of B.C. residents would get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to them, a poll released by the Angus Reid Institute Monday (March 8) suggests.

The results from poll, which was conducted from March 1-4 with 1,748 participants, came just as vaccinations opened up to seniors outside of care homes in B.C. Monday’s percentage is higher than in January, when 61 per cent of British Columbians said they would get the vaccine as soon as possible.

A further 17 per cent of people told pollsters they would wait but get the vaccine eventually, while 10 per cent said they would not get it at all and seven per cent were not sure. The percentage of people who would get the COVID-19 vaccine right away was highest in Metro Vancouver at 68 per cent, with Vancouver Island and the North Coast at 66 per cent, the north at 61 per cent and Interior B.C. at 60 per cent.

Up to 20 per cent of people in the north said they would not get the COVID vaccine at all, with 15 per cent of people in Interior B.C. saying they wouldn’t get it, 10 per cent on Vancouver Island and on the north coast and seven per cent in Metro Vancouver.

Across Canada, 66 per cent of people would get the vaccine right away, the highest since researchers began measuring in July.

However, most believed it would be months until they had the opportunity. Pollsters found that only seven per cent of Canadians believed they would get the vaccine in March, 12 per cent in April or May and 40 per cent over the summer months or September. British Columbians were the most optimistic about a summer vaccine, with more than half believing they would get theirs between June and September.

Only 18 per cent of Canadians, and 20 per cent of British Columbians believed the wait was acceptable. A further 51 per cent of Canadians, and 52 per cent of British Columbians believed it wasn’t ideal but “okay given the circumstances.” Twenty-four per cent told pollsters it was an unacceptable wait, while eight per cent were not sure.

As of Friday evening, 311,208 people in B.C. have gotten their COVID-19 vaccine, largely seniors and essential workers.

READ MORE: COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up


@katslepian

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