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By Bruce Anderson & David Coletto

WORRY LEVELS ARE LOWEST SINCE PANDEMIC BEGAN

Just 13% are “extremely worried” or “worried a lot” about Covid19. This is the lowest level we have seen since the beginning of the pandemic. Just 16% say their level of concern has increased in recent days, also the lowest number we’ve recorded.

INFECTION RATES LARGELY UNCHANGED THROUGH SUMMER

A total of 29% say they are sure they had Covid and another 10% believe they probably did. At the beginning of July those numbers were 25% and 11%, meaning only a 3 point climb through the summer.

MOST WHO HAD COVID CONTINUE TO REPORT LIMITED SYMPTOMS

Two out of three who believe they were infected say that their symptoms were uncomfortable but not bad or had hardly any symptoms.

FEW EXPECT A SEVERE FALL WAVE

Just 10% anticipate that there will be a lot of severe illness and hospitalizations from Covid this fall. Anxiety levels are also lower on this indicator compared to earlier this summer.

MOST PREFER GOVERNMENT TO BE VIGILANT, RESTRAINED

Most want government is to be prepared to introduce measures if things worsen, “but don’t push too hard”. A quarter (27%) say that under no circumstances should government put in mask, vaccine or other rules. Only 19% say government should take all possible measures to reduce the spread of the disease.

MANY MIGHT PASS ON A BOOSTER THIS FALL

While 88% of the adults surveyed have had some vaccination against Covid, only 40% are certain that they will take a booster dose if that was recommended this fall. Outright refusal stands at 17% considerably higher than the refusal rate for earlier doses. Refusal and hesitancy levels are higher among younger people, especially women, and those on the right of the spectrum. Interestingly, those who believe they had Covid are not more likely than those who think they haven’t had it, to be ready to get the next dose.

UPSHOT

“While some of the political debate about Covid and vaccinations is highly polarized, Canadian public opinion is not really as polarized as it might seem. Most people sense that the risks are down and want governments to be vigilant but generally move in the direction of a normalization of life. There is a small minority of people, unvaxxed and farthest right on the spectrum, who are highly energized against vaccination and presumably other measures as well, but the split in opinion is more like 90%-!0% than 50-50, just to put this in context.

The public may or may not be right in assessing a lower level of risk and less need for measures but this tendency in opinion has less to do with outrage towards government and doubts about vaccine efficacy or safety and more to do with feeling that the amount of risk is known and acceptable as things now stand.”

METHODOLOGY

The survey was conducted with 1,900 Canadian adults from September 11 to 14, 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.

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.

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