Majority of Canadians against students returning to in-person learning without vaccination: survey

OTTAWA — The majority of Canadians are either opposed or somewhat opposed to the idea of students returning to the classroom without being vaccinated, according to a new survey by Nanos Research.

Nearly 60 per cent of respondents said they were against or somewhat against in-person learning for students who refuse to take a COVID-19 vaccine, while 34 per cent said they support or somewhat support their return and seven per cent remain undecided.

The survey, commissioned by CTV News, also notes that residents of Quebec and the Prairies are more open to the idea, while those in Ontario and B.C. are more reluctant.

The CEO of Nanos Research says the divide in perspective among parents will no doubt cause friction come September.

“It could be very awkward, there could be friction, there could be disagreement and there could be some uncertainty,” said Nik Nanos on CTV News Channel’s Power Play on Friday.

Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only drug approved by Health Canada for use in those under the age of 18, after the regulatory body authorized its administration to those 12 and older in early May. Moderna filed for the same qualification on Monday.

To date, Canada has administered more than 28 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and more than 71 per cent of the eligible population has been vaccinated with at least one dose, putting Canada first among G20 countries when it comes to the share of the population with one dose.

Ontario has the highest number of youth up to age 17 partially vaccinated, followed by Alberta and Quebec. For the 18-29 category, Ontario remains in the lead, followed by Quebec and British Columbia.

Several provinces have halted in-person learning until September, citing concerns about variant spread. At this point, most health officials across Canada say students won’t be barred from the classroom should they choose to opt out of taking the vaccine.

METHODOLOGY:

Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land-and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,029 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between May 30th and June 2nd, 2021 as part of an omnibus survey. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey online. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada.

Individuals were randomly called using random digit dialing with a maximum of five call backs.

The margin of error for a random survey of 1,029 Canadians is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The research was commissioned by CTV News and conducted by Nanos Research.

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