Vaccinated people viewed more favourably than the unvaccinated: poll
A new poll suggests tensions between those who are vaccinated against COVID-19 and those who aren't are growing. Possibly replacing previous divisions.
The Association for Canadian Studies commissioned a poll which surveyed 1,159 people online from Sept. 10 to 12, 2021. The results show that 77% of those surveyed had negative views of the unvaccinated while just 4% thought poorly of those with the vaccine.
Jack Jedwab is the president of the association and says at this point, "this relationship is the key focus for a lot of Canadians, and it's the one where Canadians are feeling the most animosity of any other relationship."
The association says it's the first poll of this kind that it has conducted and to monitor trends, it will likely repeat the survey in the future.
Another finding, almost 25 per cent of those who aren’t immunized see other non-immunized people negatively. Online polls don't have a margin of error but comparatively a probability sample of 1,549 respondents would have a margin of error of ±2.52 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
"My suspicion is that if you're unvaccinated you probably don’t want to be in a room with another 50 people are unvaccinated so there's going to be a fair degree of mistrust, within that group as well," added Jedwab.
Scott Lear, a professor in the faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University said that some public health policy and messaging, which blamed young people and the unvaccinated for increasing infection rates, could be deepening frustrations. Lear said there are things both unvaccinated and vaccinated people can't do, leading to a sense of loss of control.
"And when that happens, we're probably looking for lightning rods to put that anger (on)," he said.
Lear also noted anti-vaxxers may only make up a small portion of those who aren't vaccinated. He suggests talking to loved ones who aren't immunized with empathy and not to blame or shame them. He says that's particularly important in relationships you want to keep.
"Of those people who are unvaccinated there's a chunk that can be swayed. But they just need the right reasons." he added.
As of Monday the Ministry of Health noted 87.7 per cent of eligible people 12 and older had been vaccinated. A tweet by Health Minister Adrian Dix also noted that as of 11 a.m., 3,202,595 British Columbians have created a BC Vaccine Card.