Health & Wellness

Canadians Are Split Over COVID-19 Vaccine

When we finally have a vaccine, should it be mandatory?


A COVID-19 vaccine is many months in the future, but Canadians already disagree about whether people should be required to get a shot. According to a recent poll, 60% think it should be mandatory for everyone, while 40% say it should be voluntary. The same survey showed that Americans are split fifty-fifty on the subject.

Conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, the poll was based on surveys of more than 1,500 Canadians in late April. Just over 1,000 Americans were also surveyed. Participants were not selected randomly, but rather volunteered to answer questions online.

“It’s almost as if it’s seen as just another flu vaccine,” Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque told The Canadian Press. “I myself would have expected a higher number given the severity, given the crisis we’re in. But Canadians are kind of divided on this.”

By April 26, the last day the poll was conducted, 46,644 people in Canada had contracted or were presumed to have contracted COVID-19, while 2,560 had died.

Older Canadians were more likely to say a vaccine should be mandatory, with 64% of those over 55 agreeing.

The poll also asked Canadians how they felt about the lifting of social distancing measures and interacting with the public: only 15% said they didn’t feel ready to return to work. Just over half (53%) said they would feel comfortable shopping at a mall if permitted, and 57% felt comfortable stopping at a farmers’ market; 58% said they’d feel safe allowing workers to come in to do home renovations.

When it came to other outings, 45% said they felt ready to eat at a restaurant again; 24% want to return to the gym; 23% would board a plane; and 21% would attend a large gathering such as a concert or football game.

Photo: iStock/Manjurul.