Albertans are more likely than people in any other province to say they won’t ever take the COVID-19 vaccine, and less likely to say they’ll get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it’s available, a new Angus Reid poll suggests.
In addition, Albertans are the most unhappy with their province’s handling of the vaccine rollout despite the fact the government is exceeding every other province in terms of the percentage of delivered vaccine doses that have been administered.
Across Canada, 60 per cent of respondents to the poll, taken between Jan. 7 and Jan. 10, said they would get the vaccine as soon as possible. That’s surged from 48 per cent of respondents who said so between Dec. 8 and 11.
On a provincial level, every other region has seen increased enthusiasm to get the vaccine as soon as it’s available compared to a month earlier.
In Alberta, however, the needle has not changed. Only 48 per cent of respondents said they would get the jab ASAP and 28 per cent said they would eventually.
Likewise, the percentage of people who say they’d never take the vaccine varies dramatically depending on the region.
In Alberta, 20 per cent of respondents — or one in five — said they would never take the vaccine.
Saskatchewan was close behind, at 19 per cent.
But that drops to one in 10 people who say they wouldn’t ever take the vaccine in B.C. and Ontario — both at eight per cent, which is also the national average.
Handling of vaccine rollout
Despite the lingering hesitancy in the province, respondents had strong feelings about the way the government has handled distribution of the vaccines.
“Albertans and Manitobans are the most likely to think it will take 10 months or more for them to get vaccinated, with roughly one in three saying this,” said the institute in a breakdown of the numbers.
In Alberta, 43 per cent said the government is doing a “bad job” distributing vaccines, but that lags behind disappointed Ontarians (54 per cent) and Manitobans (51 per cent).
“In some cases, established impressions about the performance of the provincial government in handling the pandemic may be colouring perceptions about vaccine distribution,” writes the Angus Reid Institute.
“For instance, in Alberta, where Jason Kenney’s administration has been receiving poor marks for how it has dealt with the pandemic, just over one-third of residents say vaccine distribution is being done well, despite 75 per cent of vaccines already having been administered, the highest in the country as of this writing.”
Fully 66 per cent of Albertans think it will take seven months or more to get vaccinated — a higher percentage than any other province.
The online survey was conducted Jan. 7-10 among a representative randomized sample of 1,580 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The regional breakdown for Alberta raises that margin of error to +/- 8 percentage points.
The Atlantic provinces were grouped together in regional breakdowns and the territories weren’t part of the survey.