With COVID-19 vaccines becoming more accessible across Canada, whether or not people get immunized is starting to be less about logistical challenges and more of a personal choice. As a result, vaccine hesitancy is becoming more apparent, particularly in Alberta.
The Angus Reid Institute polled Canadians about their opinions on getting vaccinated, and the results showed that vaccine hesitancy is most common in Alberta.
Currently, 86% of Canadians have either already received at least one dose of vaccine, or will get their shots as soon as possible. An additional 3% say that they plan to get immunized “eventually.”
One in five Albertans (22%) say that they’re unwilling to get immunized, or are unsure about the vaccine. This is over twice the national average, with less than 10% of the country’s overall population saying they’ll refuse the vaccine outright.
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The other prairie provinces follow close behind Alberta with the second highest vaccine hesitant populations. Fifteen percent of the population polled in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba say that they are unwillingly or unsure about getting vaccinated against the virus.
That being said, vaccine hesitancy has decreased overall since the beginning of the year as people see their friends and family getting the jab.
And those who choose not to get the vaccine may see their social lives suffer, as the study also discovered that approximately half of immunized Canadians don’t want to spend time around unvaccinated individuals.
The poll found that only half (53%) of Canadians surveyed who’ve had at least one dose of vaccine say they’re likely to spend time with unvaccinated people.
The rest (46%) say they’ll probably avoid unvaccinated people — even though they themselves have built up immunity to the virus. In particular, the survey suggested that older people say they’ll be choosy about who they spend time with.
With files from Megan Devlin