Over 7 million Canadians are certain they had COVID-19
July 22, 2022
We completed a national survey of 1,500 Canadian adults from July 11 to 17, 2022.
THOSE WHO ARE SURE THEY WERE INFECTED DOUBLED SINCE FEBRUARY
A total of 25% say they are sure they had COVID and another 11% believe they probably did. Only 51% are sure they did not have COVID yet.
A THIRD OF THOSE INFECTED SAY THEIR SYMPTOMS WERE BAD
Most of those who say they were infected say that their symptoms were uncomfortable but not bad or had hardly any symptoms. A third (32%) described symptoms as bad or very bad.
People under 45 are considerably more likely than older people to report having contracted COVID. So too are those who have had vaccinations.
WHAT DO PEOPLE EXPECT OF COVID IN THE COMING MONTHS
Most people (61%) expect there will be lots of COVID infections, but symptoms will be generally mild in the coming months. 17% say there will be a lot of severe illness and hospitalizations. 22% believe that fewer and fewer will be ill and eventually, COVID will disappear.
These perceptions affect how Canadians want governments to react. Half say that governments should be willing to re-introduce measures to control the spread of infections but “don’t push too hard.”
Another 25% say that under no circumstances would they like to see the government put in mask vaccine and other rules. Just one in four (26%) are ready to 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.
Feelings about additional measures are somewhat different by age, and political leaning, with older people more inclined to support additional measures if needed compared to younger people. Conservative and People’s Party supporters are more inclined to oppose new measures.
WILL PEOPLE TAKE ANOTHER VACCINATION
While roughly 90% of adults have taken at least one vaccination against COVID-19 if another dose is recommended in the fall, just 39% are confident that they would take the shot, and another 20% say they probably would. As with prior months, younger people are more reluctant than older people. The unvaxxed are most adamant that they will not change their position and take a shot if recommended.
“Public opinion around COVID is a lot different at this moment in time compared to earlier in the pandemic.
Many people have had first or close second-hand experience with the virus, which has shaped their feelings about risk and what to do to mitigate it. The fact that most had or witnessed mild symptoms in later waves – and after vaccinations – has made people think the virus is less worrying.
The combination of these shifts in knowledge and sentiment put governments in a challenging spot – the numbers don’t absolve the government of expectations to manage a worsening situation if that comes to pass, but they also show that patience for a return to interventions and restrictions is low right now.”
The survey was conducted with 1,500 Canadian adults from July 11 to 17, 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 +/- 2.6% 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/
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