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By Bruce Anderson & David Coletto

We completed a national survey of 2,400 Canadian adults from July 22 to 27, 2022

LOWEST LEVEL OF WORRY SINCE THE PANDEMIC BEGAN

Just 15% say they are extremely worried or worried a lot about Covid19, which is down from our reading in mid-July and the lowest number we have seen since the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020. Just 30% say their level of concern has increased in recent days, also a relatively low number based on our tracking data.

THOSE SURE THEY WERE INFECTED RISE 3 POINTS IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS

A total of 28% say they are sure they had Covid, and another 9% believe they probably did. Less than half the adult population (47%) are sure they did not have Covid yet.

A QUARTER OF THOSE INFECTED SAY THEIR SYMPTOMS WERE BAD

Three out of four people who believe they were infected say that their symptoms were uncomfortable but not bad or had hardly any symptoms. A quarter (26%) described symptoms as bad or very bad.

WHAT PEOPLE EXPECT OF COVID IN THE COMING MONTHS

Most (66%) expect there will be lots of Covid infections, but symptoms will be generally mild in the coming months. 15% say there will be a lot of severe illness and hospitalizations. 20% believe that fewer and fewer will be ill and eventually, Covid will disappear.

WHAT DO CANADIANS WANT GOVERNMENT TO DO

These expectations that Covid will continue to bring mostly mild symptoms influence preferences for governments’ approach. 52% say governments should be willing to re-introduce measures to control the spread of infections if things get worse, but “don’t push too hard,” while 26% say that under no circumstances would they like to see the government put in mask vaccine and other rules. Only 23% (down 3 points in a couple of weeks) say the government should take all possible measures to reduce the spread of the disease, even if it means returning to the way things were earlier in the pandemic.

VACCINATION LEVELS (SELF-REPORTED)

One in ten adults in our sample said they had not been vaccinated for Covid. Over a quarter have had one or two shots (the majority of these said two shots). Just under half have had one booster, and 20% have had two.

Vaccination uptake varies substantially according to age, as would be somewhat expected given the timing of access to boosters. Still, it has also been true that younger people were more hesitant about taking the Covid vaccine compared to older people.

WILL PEOPLE TAKE ANOTHER VACCINATION IF RECOMMENDED THIS FALL

Less than half of those who are vaccinated against Covid are certain they will take another shot if that is recommended this fall or winter. Hesitance or refusal is highest among those under 45, those with lower levels of formal education, those who dislike the Prime Minister, those in rural areas, and People’s Party voters.

UPSHOT

“Canadians have not concluded that Covid is gone from their lives, but most have – for the moment anyway – decided that the level of serious illness is lower than it was and low enough for them to hesitate about the prospect of another wave requiring the imposition of mandates and other restrictions on everyday life.  Take up of vaccines has been largely a success story, but there is some reason to believe that if the same level of vaccination is necessary to tame future waves, more people need to be ready to take the next shot that says they are ready to do that today.”

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METHODOLOGY

The survey was conducted with 2,400 Canadian adults from July 22 to 27, 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 +/- 2.0% 19 times out of 20.

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.

This survey was paid for by Abacus Data Inc.

Abacus Data follows the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements that can be found here:  https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/

ABOUT ABACUS DATA

We are the only research and strategy firm that helps organizations respond to the disruptive risks and opportunities in a world where demographics and technology are changing more quickly than ever.

We are an innovative, fast-growing public opinion and marketing research consultancy. We use the latest technology, sound science, and deep experience to generate top-flight research-based advice to our clients. We offer global research capacity with a strong focus on customer service, attention to detail, and exceptional value.

We were one of the most accurate pollsters conducting research during the 2021 Canadian election following up on our outstanding record in 2019.

Contact us with any questions.

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