Developing an effective vaccine for Covid-19 is the key to fully reopening the economy and returning to a more normal life, but Canadians’ willingness to get vaccinated could also come into play.
A new study from Statistics Canada finds that Canadians’ trust in people and institutions affects how willing they are to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.
“Canadians’ willingness to voluntarily get vaccinated is vital to easing current economic and social constraints,” StatsCan said in the study, which is based on an online survey carried out between May 26 and June 8.
The research found that 68.2% of respondents said that they were “very likely” to get a Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available.
Conversely, 7.9% said that they are “very unlikely” to be voluntarily vaccinated, and 4.1% reported being somewhat unlikely.
According to estimates from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore — based on the contagiousness of Covid-19 — approximately 70% of a given population needs to be immune (by either infection or vaccination) to reach herd immunity in the case of Covid-19.
In its study, StatsCan found that the willingness to get a vaccine varied based on the level of trust that respondents have in government generally, and public health officials in particular, to make sound decisions about reopening the economy.
For instance, it found that 76.4% of respondents with a high level of trust in federal public health officials said they’re very likely to get a vaccine, compared with 44.4% of those with low levels of trust in federal officials.
The willingness to be vaccinated was also correlated to trust generally, the study found.
For instance, it reported that 70.7% of those who said that most people can be trusted were “very likely” to get a Covid-19 vaccine, compared with 60.6% of those who believe that most people can’t be trusted.