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Canadians divided over mandatory COVID-19 vaccines, priority inoculations

Written by on October 14, 2020

OTTAWA — A new poll suggests Canadians are turning against the idea of the government requiring people to get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it becomes available.

Only 39 per cent of respondents in the poll by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies said a COVID-19 vaccine should be mandatory while 54 per cent said it should be voluntary.

That’s a marked shift from July, when 57 per cent supported mandatory inoculations and 43 per cent believed they should be voluntary.

The new poll also suggested more overall reluctance about getting inoculated when a vaccine becomes available, with 63 per cent of respondents saying they would, seven percentage points lower than in July. 

There was also some division over whether Canadians should be able to pay private providers to get a vaccine faster, with more than one in three agreeing with the idea and 50 per cent opposing.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents nonetheless agreed that vaccines should be made available to priority groups such as health-care workers and seniors when the becomes available.

The online poll was conducted Oct. 9 to 11 and surveyed 1,539 adult Canadians. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 14, 2020.

The Canadian Press