A vaccine developed in Canada might be a game-changer in overcoming vaccine hesitancy

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February 3, 2021

A vaccine developed in Canada might be a game-changer in overcoming vaccine hesitancy

By Doug Anderson, CAIP

In our last wave of surveying on COVID, back in October, Earnscliffe’s Public Opinion Research team included some investigation into what impact a made-in-Canada vaccine may have.

At the time, we found that there were a lot of Canadians with concerns about the safety of a vaccine once one would be approved by Health Canada for use in Canada.  So, we asked whether a vaccine made in Canada might make people more comfortable.

A lot has changed in the vaccine situation since then, but the recent announcements about the Novavax vaccine, produced in Montréal, and the Providence Therapeutics vaccine, developed in Alberta and Ontario, suggested we pull that data out again and let people know just how much this matters to Canadians.

We had found that most Canadians have concerns about vaccine safety and for those with the greatest levels of concern, the concern may have been triggering some to be vaccine hesitant.

In October, a third (32%) of Canadians said they would have little or no concern about the safety of a vaccine approved by Health Canada, but a plurality (40%) said they would be somewhat concerned and about one in four (24%) would be very concerned.

Among those who said they would be very concerned, more than half (56%) said they would feel better about the safety of the vaccine if it was developed in Canada instead of another country and this proportion was even higher (65%) among those who were somewhat concerned.

Vaccines were already recognized as a game-changer in fighting the virus.  A vaccine developed in Canada might be a game-changer in overcoming vaccine hesitancy.

Doug Anderson is an Earnscliffe Principal and Public Opinion Research Practice Lead. Contact Doug at opinionresearch@earnscliffe.ca to learn more.