Vaccine hesitancy drops across BC: Insights West poll

Jab reluctance dropping

As British Columbia moves into stage 2 of its reopening plan, a new poll indicates that vaccine hesitation in the province is dropping.

The survey conducted by Insights West shows vaccination hesitancy has dropped dramatically as the province has reached a 75 per cent vaccination rate.

The numbers show that of those not vaccinated, 15 per cent will likely get the vaccine, 8 per cent are unlikely and 2 per cent are unsure and that 92 per cent of adult British Columbians who have received the vaccine are satisfied with the overall vaccination experience.

“British Columbians have come a long way at the tail end of this pandemic in accepting the vaccines that are available and many of the hesitations that we identified two months ago have lessened significantly” says Steve Mossop, president of Insights West.

“There is only a small core group of 5 per cent now who will definitely not get the vaccine, giving us hope that we can go beyond the 80 per cent threshold to achieve the ‘herd immunity’ that so many experts have been telling us is essential to getting our lives back to normal. The other surprising finding is the extremely high satisfaction levels with the vaccination process and experience—which runs counter to the many media and social media stories about confusion around how and when to get the vaccine. It’s likely that these positive experiences overall have had an impact on countering the hesitations that residents had prior to widespread vaccinations becoming available.”

The poll shows that we have come a long way in eight weeks.

"COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy has plummeted as the majority of B.C. adults have had their first dose of vaccine and of those who have not, there are far more who are likely than who are unlikely to receive it. Of those who have received it, our survey shows very high satisfaction levels with the process," says Mossop.

In addition to the 75 per cent of adult British Columbians who have already received their first vaccination, the remaining number is divided between the 10 per cent who are 100 per cent certain to get the vaccine, 5 per cent who are likely, 3 per cent who are unlikely and 5 per cent who are 100 per cent certain they will not get the vaccine (the final 2 per cent were unsure).

"In our previous poll two months ago, only 16 per cent of British Columbians had received their first dose and just 43 per cent were 100 per cent certain they would get one, leaving 23 per cent showing some form of hesitancy. Recent results show a significant shift in perceptions have happened in a relatively short time period," Mossop says.

Satisfaction levels with the process and experience of getting the COVID-19 vaccination in British Columbia are also extremely high.

On an overall basis, 92 per cent of those who have received a vaccine are satisfied.

Only 8 per cent express dissatisfaction; this dissatisfaction seems to be higher among those who experienced their vaccination through a pharmacy or a pop-up clinic as opposed to those who received it through a registered clinic; dissatisfaction levels are more than twice as high among this segment, 15 per cent compared to 6 per cent. Interestingly, NDP voters are significantly more satisfied, 65 per cent are ‘extremely satisfied’, than Liberal voters, 45 per cent. No other significant demographic differences exist.

The highest ratings are given for the courtesy and friendliness of staff in the process, with 74 per cent reporting being ‘extremely satisfied’.

Ratings of information provided at the clinic, the efficiency and length of the overall process and accuracy of appointment times all receive extremely high satisfaction levels, between 62 per cent and 65 per cent extremely satisfied.

Slightly lower satisfaction ratings were received for the overall convenience of the vaccine clinic’s location, 57 per cent extremely satisfied, and the lowest ratings were reserved for the ease of booking the appointment, 54 per cent, and the comfort of the waiting area post-vaccination, 50 per cent.

Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West Marketing Research May 26-30, 2021 among a sample of 831 residents across BC.

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