While some concerns still linger, 83 per cent of people in Canada now say they plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19, while only 12 per cent say they would not, according to an Angus Reid poll released Monday. Five per cent were unsure.
Among the 83 per cent who would take the vaccine, those who say they’ll wait has plummeted from 36 per cent to 23 per cent in the past month while the number of those who want it immediately has soared from 39 per cent to 60 per cent.
The swing in opinion was particularly strong among women over 55 years of age who were surveyed, 70 per cent of whom now want the vaccine as soon as possible, slightly more than the 68 per cent support among same-aged men. A month ago, only 50 per cent of women over 55 years of age wanted an immediate vaccine while 59 per cent of older men wanted the vaccine right away.
Opposition to vaccination was strongest in Alberta and Saskatchewan where 20 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively, said they would not get vaccinated. The desire to be vaccinated was highest in B.C., at 89 per cent, and Ontario, at 88 per cent, of those surveyed.
While the percentage of the population that must be immunized before the virus is eradicated from a society is not known with certainty, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical officer of health in the United States has recently said he believes that once about 80 per cent of a population is vaccinated the virus will die out.
The virus can live only a short time outside of a person, which is where it can replicate. If the virus cannot infect anyone because they are all immune, the pandemic will end. In the 1900s, vaccination drives eradicated smallpox and rinderpest while polio has dropped to fewer than 500 cases world-wide in an average year. Vaccines have also come very close to completely eradicating diphtheria, bacterial influenza, measles, mumps, rubella and tetanus.
Health Canada recently reported that after the first 225,000 vaccine doses were administered in Canada there were no reports of any unanticipated side-effects.
On Monday, Canada passed 17,000 deaths from the coronavirus.