Several vials of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines at the Strathcona Paper Centre in Napanee, Ont., on Monday March 15, 2021. The centre will be used as an immunization clinic for the Napanee area. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

Half of Canadians want first COVID-19 vaccine available: Poll

Half of Canadians want first COVID-19 vaccine available: Poll

OTTAWA — A new poll suggests about half of Canadians are willing to get immunized against COVID-19 with the first vaccine they’re offered, while one quarter would be willing to wait to get a shot they’d prefer.

Fifty-one per cent of respondents to the online survey by Léger and the Association for Canadian Studies say they will take whichever of the four COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered reassurances on the safety of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine Monday after Germany joined other European countries pausing its use over reports of blood clots in some recipients.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization initially recommended against giving that vaccine to people 65 and older due to a lack of scientific evidence from clinical trials demonstrating it’s effective in older people.

But with more encouraging data coming in from places where people over 65 have received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the “real world,” the advisory panel is expected to revise that guidance today.

Léger executive vice-president Christian Bourque said concerns about the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine don’t seem to be on Canadians’ minds.

“For now, there’s no real major issue exactly (with the AstraZeneca vaccine), but could it in light of what we’ve seen over the past couple of days? I don’t know,” Bourque said.

The online poll of 1,512 adult Canadians was carried out March 12 to 14 and cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based surveys are not considered random samples.

The poll also found that 41 per cent of respondents say they believe the worst of the COVID-19 crisis is behind us, while 25 per cent say we are now in the worst period.

Bourque said Canadians seem to feel that we’re rounding the corner as vaccination campaigns are accelerate across the country.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2021.

———

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press

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