January 25, 2021 – Our latest survey about the pandemic reveals that Canadians continue to approve of the Trudeau Liberal Government’s response to COVID-19, remain concerned about health risks and economic impacts, and are largely in favour of getting vaccinated. And, we uncover the key drivers of vaccine hesitancy and how this hesitancy may be overcome.
Our survey reveals that a majority of Canadians continue to approve of the Trudeau Liberal Government’s overall management and response to COVID-19. Six-in-ten also approve of the Trudeau Government’s job performance on providing financial assistance to Canadians and businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, and about half approve of their job performance in providing Canadians and businesses COVID-related non-financial assistance.
Importantly, about two-thirds of Canadians approve of the Trudeau Government’s job performance on COVID-19 vaccine access, communications, and distribution.
Concerns about the spread and risk of catching COVD-19 have abated only slightly since the pandemic started in March 2020. Two-thirds of Canadians are still concerned about catching the virus themselves, and remain more worried about family members, friends, and other Canadians outside of their social circle catching it.
Nine-in-ten Canadians (87%; -6) are still concerned about the pandemic’s impact on the economy, and more are now concerned about its impact on students’ education (72%; +10). On a somewhat positive note, fewer are concerned about the pandemic’s impact on their personal finances – however, these concerns are still relatively high (60%; -12). This improved sentiment regarding personal finances aligns with the findings of our recent studies on the middle class and 2021 economic expectations.
Eight-in-ten (79%) Canadians intend to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible (50%) or after waiting awhile (29%). One-in-ten (11%) initially say they will never get vaccinated, and another 9% are unsure.
Vaccination hesitancy amongst those preferring to wait, those opposed to the vaccine, and those who are unsure is primarily rooted in concerns about safety, side effects, and rushed trials – followed by lack of information. Those who say they will never get vaccinated are also driven by skepticism about the vaccines’ efficacy.
Notably, a third (34%) of those who initially said they would never get the vaccine indicate that they “want to be sure it is safe before getting it”, suggesting that a third of this cohort may be willing to get vaccinated if the vaccine is proven to be safe. This would reduce the proportion who are opposed to getting the vaccine from 11% to 7%. This proportion may be further reduced once the vaccine’s efficacy can be witnessed.
For more details, see our report.