Half of Canadian parents plan to get their young kids vaccinated against COVID-19: poll
It appears half of Canadian and the majority of B.C. parents are anxious to get their young kids vaccinated against COVID-19.
Results from a new survey from the Angus Reid Institute suggests strong support to get shots in the arms of five to 11-year-olds as soon as possible.
According to the data, half of Canadian parents say they plan to vaccinate their elementary school-aged children as soon as a vaccine is available to them.
Eighteen per cent said they would get their kids inoculated eventually and 23 per cent said they will not be getting their kids vaccinated.
The percentage of parents opposed to the kids' vaccine is lower in B.C., sitting at 15 per cent, according to the survey.
The poll's results suggested support for adolescent vaccination is higher among parents with a university education and those with higher incomes.
There is currently no vaccine approved for kids under the age of 12 in Canada, though Pfizer recently submitted data suggesting its vaccine is safe for kids aged five to 11.
COVID-19 cases have spiked in B.C. schools since kids returned to class last month.
However, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has maintained the risk of serious illness from the virus is relatively low in kids.
B.C. is allowing parents to register kids for their first jab, but one public policy expert says there hasn’t been sufficient messaging about COVID vaccinations in children.
“I'd love to see more age specific registration. We could also do really basic things like get schools to send letters to all the parents with kids between the ages of five and 11, so they actually know this registration is happening,” said Heidi Tworek, a professor of public policy at the University of British Columbia.
Tworek says parents need to be provided with enough information to make an informed decision.
“We need to explain to parents how the approval process is functioning and how is this vaccine different than the vaccine for over 12 so they can feel confident in registering their kids and having them vaccinated as soon as the vaccine might be approved,” Tworek told CTV News.
The survey also revealed an appetite for a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine among most vaccinated Canadians.
Sixty-two per cent of those surveyed said they would take the shot right away if it were offered, while another 20 per cent said they would get an additional dose eventually but would be in no rush.
“Vaccine hesitancy has diminished month by month since the rollout began in the early parts of 2021. Currently just one-in-12 Canadian adults currently say they haven’t been vaccinated,” a statement from the Angus Reid Institute said.
Booster shots have been offered in Canada in a limited capacity so far.
In B.C, people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised may be able get a third dose four weeks after their second one.
Those who are eligible will be contacted through the province's Get Vaccinated system.
Residents of long-term care and assisted living centres are also being offered an additional dose six months after their second dose.
The survey found the willingness to get a booster dose was also influenced by political ideology.
“Past Conservative and Bloc Québécois voters who have been vaccinated are much less likely than those who recently supported the Liberals and NDP to say that they would immediately receive a booster,” said the institute's statement.
DOUBT OF A RETURN TO NORMAL
At the start of the pandemic, a poll conducted by the Institute showed few respondents thought that COVID-19 would impact their lives longer than six months, but doubt that a return to normal is near is growing.
“Currently, the largest group of Canadians (37 per cent) say that Canada will never return to the way that it was before February 2020,” read a summary of the survey.
That’s roughly double the number of people who shared the view last year.
Personal concern over contracting the virus also rose in the last month.
“Three-in-five (57 per cent) Canadians are very or moderately concerned about being infected, a decline from a peak of 71 per cent at the beginning of the year, but a climb from a summer valley of 47 per cent.”
The institute conducted the online surveys from Sept. 29 to Oct. 3, 2021, among a representative randomized sample of 5,011 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum.
For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of plus or minus 2.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI.