Vaccine hesitancy in Manitoba
January 19, 2021
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On December 9, 2020, the first vaccine for COVID-19 was approved for use in Canada, made by Pfizer-BioNTech. One week later, on December 16, 2020, the first COVID-19 immunization clinic launched. This clinic administered 900 vaccines to health-care workers. Two weeks from the first announcement (December 23, 2020), another vaccine was approved, made by Moderna.1
It is projected that by March 31, 2021, 228,000 doses of the two vaccines will have been made available to Manitobans, covering an estimated 7% of Manitobans.2
Many Manitobans are hesitant to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
As defined in 2015 by the World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, vaccine hesitancy is the delayed acceptance or refusal of vaccination regardless of its availability.3 When Manitobans were asked how likely they would be to get vaccinated if a vaccine were available right now, 37% were at least somewhat hesitant, indicating that, even if it were widely available, more than one third would not get it right away. One in 5 respondents were hesitant to receive the vaccine, including those who said they were somewhat or very unlikely.
Women, those with a lower income, those with less education, and younger people are most hesitant to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Women (44%) were almost twice as likely as men (27%) to say that they were unlikely to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, those of a lower socio-economic status, as well as college graduates or those with an education of high school or less, were more likely than their counterparts to say that they would not want a COVID-19 vaccine.
Manitobans question the level of research on a COVID-19 vaccine.
Those most hesitant (very or somewhat unlikely) to take a COVID-19 vaccine say that the most common reason stopping them from getting the vaccine is the lack of research into the long-term effects of the vaccine. About 3 in 4 hesitant Manitobans (72%) mention this reason.
Half of those most hesitant to get a COVID-19 vaccine are also worried about harmful side effects that may cause a serious allergic reaction, illness, or death (51%). Along a similar theme, 41% of hesitant Manitobans also stated that the medical risks are too high and still unknown.
Although the question asked people to respond as if access to and the number of vaccines was not a concern, 31% of those who are hesitant say that it is because others need the vaccine more than them. This may be related to concerns about the risks of the vaccine, with some wanting to wait for others to get it first in order to see potential side effects.
Almost 1 in 4 (24%) of those hesitant say that it is because they do not trust the pharmaceutical companies and/or the government.
PRA conducted the survey from January 7–11, 2021, using its Manitoba Panel. In total, 1,000 Manitobans completed the survey.
Because this sample is a non-probability sample, no error rate can be calculated. A random population survey of this size would yield an error rate of ± 3.2% (19 times out of 20).
As any sample may not represent the population perfectly, PRA corrects statistically for discrepancies in gender, age, and income to ensure that the sample corresponds as closely as possible to Statistics Canada information.
PRA Inc. sponsored these questions independently.
No other organization, public or private, funded this study in whole or in part.
For more information about the research, please contact Nicholas Borodenko, partner, at email@example.com
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On August 7, 2021, the provincial government announced that restrictions would be eased and provincial reopening would begin sooner than planned.