New poll indicates majority disagree with provinces vaccine rollout plan

Vaccine plan not popular

As the B.C. provincial government finalizes its plans for mass COVID-19 vaccinations, a new Insights West poll indicates British Columbians aren't satisfied.

Thursday’s regularly scheduled COVID-19 update has now been rescheduled for Friday. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix will now be joined by Premier John Horgan and Dr. Penny Ballem, the person heading up B.C.’s vaccine rollout efforts.

As we close in on a year of living with COVID-19, a recent survey of B.C. residents indicates many aren’t entirely supportive of the current vaccine distribution plans and hold differing opinions about the prioritization of the list of initial recipients.

In fact, one component of the plan is meeting with significant opposition.

Of those polled, 80 per cent indicate they will get the vaccine as soon as it’s available; 69 per cent believe those with pre-existing conditions should be on the list of those with higher priority for the vaccine, and about half feel RCMP, firefighters, teachers, other healthcare workers and essential service workers should be prioritized before others currently on the list.

The majority of residents do not give the overall vaccination rollout plans a positive review, 51 per cent overall rate the rollout plan as ‘fair’, 31 per cent say it's 'poor', 14 per cent say it's 'very poor'.

Despite concerns about the vaccine rollout plans and the order of recipients, the vast majority have pushed those concerns aside and are ready to roll up their sleeves to be vaccinated when their time comes. Most, 80 per cent will ‘definitely’ get the vaccine when it's available to them, 58 per cent say they will ‘probably’ get the vaccine while only 7 percent say they ‘definitely will not’.

Older residents, 55 years or older are more likely to ‘definitely’ get vaccinated while 67 per cent of those in younger age groups, 52 per cent, 18-34 and 53 per cent, 35-54 years of age.

The survey also found controversy regarding who will receive the first vaccines, as there is strong support for placing a number of groups on the priority list ahead of some already there.

The first and highest ‘miss’ on the list is those with underlying medical conditions that put them at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19; 69 per cent of residents believe that they should have been placed on the initial distribution list for the vaccine. In addition, about half think police/RCMP, 51 per cent, teachers, 50 per cent, firefighters, 47per cent, other healthcare providers who are not on the original list, 46 per cent, and essential service workers, 45 per cent should have been placed on the priority list ahead of at least some of the 11 that are currently included.

The other controversial piece of the vaccination plan is the rank order of the list. Many British Columbia residents disagree with that rank-ordering, feeling some groups should be moved up or down from the original list. There is a strong preference for moving essential health-care workers dealing with COVID-19 patients (currently #3 of the 11 listed) higher on the list, 65 per cent think they should be higher, and a similar number, 61 per cent believe hospital staff and community GP's, currently #10, should also be higher on the priority list.

On the flip side 30 per cent of British Columbians feel that staff and inmates at correctional facilities, currently #7, should be placed lower on the list, as should remote and isolated First Nations communities, currently #4, 27 per cent and those experiencing homelessness, #6, 23 per cent.

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