COVID Anxiety Ticks Up, More Take Vaccine Boosters
November 3, 2022
WORRY LEVELS LOW, BUT NOTCHING UPWARD
5% are “extremely worried” or “worried a lot” about Covid19, which is only a marginal change from our last wave, but 29% say their level of concern has increased recently, which is up 10 points. The degree of worry hasn’t intensified, but awareness of growing risk is up.
INFECTION RATES, AND SYMPTOM REPORTS UNCHANGED
A total of 44% say they are sure they had or probably had Covid, up 4 points. 70% of those who believe they were infected say that their symptoms were “uncomfortable but not bad” or had hardly any symptoms. Older people and those with more doses of vaccine reported less severe symptoms.
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, unchanged over the month. The majority expects a lot of cases, but mild symptoms (66%) or that “fewer and fewer will get Covid and eventually it will disappear” (23%).
MOST WANT GOVERNMENT TO BE VIGILANT BUT RESTRAINED
Most (52%) 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.
RISING NUMBERS GETTING BOOSTED, BUT HESITANCY STILL ELEVATED.
While 90% of the adults surveyed have had some vaccination against Covid, but not all of those are willing to take a booster this fall. We have seen a significant uptick in the number who report that they either already have or will take a booster this fall (totalling 52%) and 16% say they will not take one. The total persuadable but hesitant group is now 32%.
Two out of three (69%) think it is certain or probably that the high vaccination rate for Covid in Canada helped save lives compared to what would have happened if fewer people had been vaccinated. Another 18% say this may be the case, while 13% are doubtful or reject the value of the vaccinations.
MASK MANDATES: MOST WOULD FOLLOW, BUT NOT ALL HAPPILY
If their provincial government mandated wearing masks in public places, 59% would support and follow that guidance, while 28% say they would follow the guidance but be unhappy about that decision by government. 13% say they would dislike the decision and ignore it.
Anxiety levels of Covid are up slightly, but people remain broadly of the view that the severity will be moderate and hospitalizations relatively few. While more people are taking the recommended fall boosters, a significant proportion of those who have been vaccinated in the past is holding off getting another shot. People are not wanting governments to abandon vigilance but they do want public policy that errs on the side of restraint when it comes to additional actions, unless and until they become more aware and worried about what is happening with the virus.
The survey was conducted with 1,500 Canadian adults from October 22 to 26, 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 +/- 2.1%, 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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