CALGARY — Fewer than half of Canadians and even fewer Albertans would want to immediately get vaccinated once a COVID-19 treatment is available, according to polling data released Friday.
A study released Friday by the Angus Reid Institute (ARI) found just 39 per cent of Canadians say they’d immediately seek out a possible vaccine, while another 38 per cent said they would seek out the vaccine, but not right away.
Only 28 per cent of Albertans answered yes to the same question. More than one-in-four in the province say they would not get a vaccine at all.
The data marks a downturn nearly nationwide from a similar poll conducted by the institute in late July. Every province, save Saskatchewan, saw fewer respondents willing to immediately get vaccinated, led by a 13 per cent dip in Alberta.
“Albertans are very much Independent in their thinking, and that does extend to vaccination,” ARI Executive Director Shachi Kurl told CTV News.
“Albertans marched to the beat of their own drum on a number of issues health-related, energy policy-related and economic-related.”
“A number of factors help explain why Canadians are voicing more hesitancy towards COVID-19 vaccination,” ARI said in its recap of the data.
“One of the most prevalent concerns among both later adopters and those unwilling to get the vaccine centres on potential side effects … This is precisely what large-scale controlled trials are designed to study and identify, before the vaccine goes out for mass distribution.”
Of those who said they would immediately seek out a vaccine, 41 per cent of respondents said they would be worried about potential side effects.
The data was compiled via an online survey the institute ran from Sept. 23-25, 2020 among a sampling of 1,660 members of the Angus Reid Forum.
-WITH FILES FROM BNN BLOOMBERG
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