Unvaccinated Canadians aren’t getting the COVID-19 vaccine due to health concerns and perceived personal freedom, a new survey suggests.
Of the roughly 8 per cent of unvaccinated adults remaining in Canada, a new Angus Reid survey found most are refusing because of personal freedom and health concerns, while about a third say it’s because they don’t believe COVID-19 is a serious health threat.
Nearly all (90 per cent) of the unvaccinated individuals believe the health risks of COVID-19 are overstated while 84 per cent believe their immune system alone is good enough to fight the infection.
The survey also found that of those unvaccinated, 95 per cent believe vaccine passports are a government overreach, 76 per cent believe the side effects from the vaccine are worse than the virus, and 55 per cent believe it’s a conspiracy for government control.
At a vaccine clinic in Courtenay on Wednesday, one man showing up for his second shot said he was reluctant to get his first shot.
“I was [a] skeptic and I wasn’t sure what it was all about and so many controversies about it, that’s all,” said Courtenay resident, Slawomir Gadzinski.
“My sister explained to me what it’s all about and the consequences and the risk so I decided to go for it.”
According to new data released by provincial health officials, between Oct. 26 and Nov. 1, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 64.5 per cent of cases recorded in British Columbia and they accounted for 72.4 per cent of all hospitalizations between Oct. 19 and Nov. 1.
Furthermore, unvaccinated individuals accounted for 59 per cent of all cases (3,732) between Oct. 28 and Nov. 1 recorded in British Columbia and they accounted for 66 per cent of all hospitalizations province-wide between Oct. 19 and Nov. 1.
Terrence Murtagh was also at the vaccine clinic Wednesday, receiving his second dose. He said he was only getting the jab so he could keep his job.
“It’s shot or job that’s what it is, for me. I haven’t had a shot or any immunizations since Grade 3,” said Murtagh.
A number of employers, including B.C. Public Service, the Capital Regional District and the City of Victoria have all made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for their employees.
Though Murtagh received his second dose, he said he doesn’t like to be forced to do things he doesn’t want to do.
“I think the body has a natural immune system and I don’t know about the numbers but I don’t agree with it, I don’t like to be forced to do things that I don’t want to do.”
B.C. has administered a total of 8,278,198 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines since their vaccination program begin in December.