57% of British Columbians give low score to province’s vaccine rollout plan: poll

Click to play video 'Survey finds British Columbians unhappy with vaccine rollout' Survey finds British Columbians unhappy with vaccine rollout
A new Insights West survey of British Columbians has found the majority of people are not happy with how the province's rollout of coronavirus vaccine has been handled so far. John Hua reports – Jan 21, 2021

The majority of British Columbians are not entirely supportive of the province’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, a new poll suggests.

It come just one day ahead of an announcement on Friday with Premier John Horgan, Dr. Bonnie Henry, Dr. Penny Ballem, and Adrian Dix on the next steps in B.C’s immunization rollout.

Only 30 per cent of those polled by Insights West rated the execution of the plan to date as “good,” with most respondents (57 per cent) providing lower ratings.

“This is the first time that we’ve seen in the pandemic that the general public not support the government on COVID-19 related initiatives,” Insights West president Steve Mossop said Thursday.

Read more: B.C. First Nation credits family who self-disclosed COVID-19 diagnosis with helping outbreak control

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Among the biggest concerns is the priority order of those receiving the vaccine.

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In B.C., the first groups scheduled to get the shot between December and February are primarily long-term care workers and residents, health workers providing care for COVID-19 patients, and remote and isolated First Nations communities.

According to the poll, many British Columbians disagree with that rank ordering, feeling other groups should be moved up.

About half feel RCMP, firefighters, teachers and non-front-line health workers should be prioritized higher.

Sixty-nine per cent believe people who are at greater risk of getting the virus because of underlying medical conditions should be vaccinated sooner.

Another 30 per cent of respondents believed staff and inmates at correctional facilities should be placed lower on the list.

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Currently, immunization at provincial correctional facilities is set to start in February, ahead of the general population, because the higher risk of transmission.

Read more: New COVID-19 outbreak confirmed at B.C. prison hit hardest by virus in April

Despite concerns, the vast majority of respondents said they will get the vaccine when it becomes available to them.

Only seven per cent said they will definitely not get the shot.

The online poll was conducted from Jan. 13-18 with a sample of 824 B.C. residents and is accurate to within +/ – 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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