An emerging seventh wave of the COVID-19 virus – spurred forth by the BA.5 variant of Omicron – has health officials proclaiming the need for up-to-date vaccination among Canadians.
A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds a population once boisterous about boosters now more hesitant. Three-in-five vaccinated Canadians (61%) say they’re ready and willing to get their next shot when eligible, led by men and women over the age of 54 (73% and 81% respectively).
There is, however, an emerging schism among those willing to continue receiving a COVID-19 inoculation. For those who have already had three or four shots, willingness to keep boosting remains high.
That said, among Canadians who say they have thus far received one or two doses just 17 per cent say they will seek another vaccine dose, while three-in-five say no.
Those who are keen would like their government to speed up the timeline for boosters. Overall, 54 per cent of Canadians say their province should offer a fourth dose to all adults who want one as soon as possible, while one-in-five (18%) would wait until the fall.
Not everyone, however, is convinced that boosters are necessary or even effective. One-in-five (22%) Canadians now say they do not believe that keeping up with vaccinations gives a person protection against either infection or serious illness. Few of those who have received three (7%) or four doses (2%) agree. Vaccine producer Pfizer addressed concerns about this recently, stating that its vaccine has been tweaked to better target the Omicron strain, and that its fall boosters will increase effectiveness. Other major producers are expected to do the same.