By Bruce Anderson & David Coletto
WORRY LEVELS REMAIN LOW
Just 14% are “extremely worried” or “worried a lot” about Covid19. Just 19% say their level of concern has increased in recent days. Both numbers are among the lowest we’ve recorded.
INFECTION RATES, AND SYMPTOM REPORTS UNCHANGED
A total of 40% say they are sure they had Covid (29%) or probably (11%) had Covid. The proportion of Canadians who believe they were infected did not rise through August and September. Two out of three who believe they were infected say that their symptoms were “uncomfortable but not bad” or had hardly any symptoms, which is also not changing.
LARGE MAJORITY EXPECT MILD OR DISAPPEARING COVID THIS FALL
Just 11% anticipate that there will be a lot of severe illness and hospitalizations from Covid this fall. The majority expect a lot of cases, but mild symptoms (60%) or that “fewer and fewer will get Covid and eventually it will disappear” (29%). This is the highest number we have seen for the “disappear’ expectation, up three points from last month.
MOST PREFER GOVERNMENT TO BE VIGILANT BUT RESTRAINED
Most (53%) want government is to be prepared to introduce measures if things worsen, “but not to push too hard”. About a quarter (28%) say under no circumstances should government put in mask, vaccine or other rules. One in five (20%) say government should take all possible measures to reduce the spread of the disease. These numbers are relatively stable.
TAKE A BOOSTER THIS FALL? MOST AREN’T SURE.
While 88% of the adults surveyed have had some vaccination against Covid, only 39% are certain that they will take a booster dose if that was recommended this fall and another 17% say they probably will. Combined certain and likely are down 4 points from last month.
Outright refusal stands at 17% considerably higher than the refusal rate for earlier doses. Older people and those on the left are far more likely to be ready to take a booster, compared to other people. Those who had Covid are less likely to be ready to get the next dose, compared to those who haven’t been sick with the virus.
While some experts foresee a renewed health impact of the virus, public opinion is not really budging at the moment – most people seem to feel that infections might rise, but the gravity of the situation will not. This is continuing to depress the proportion of the population that is ready to take a booster, especially among younger people. Those who didn’t get Covid may attribute their good fortune to the vaccines, while those who got Covid and were vaccinated may feel that the amount of protection is limited and if their symptoms were mild, another booster may not be necessary.
The survey was conducted with 1,500 Canadian adults from September 26th to October 3, 2022. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.
The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.2%, 19 times out of 20. This survey was paid for by Abacus Data Inc.
The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.
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