Poll finds growing support in B.C. for ‘vaccine passports’

Click to play video: 'B.C. prepares to rollout a vaccination card'
B.C. prepares to rollout a vaccination card
Bridgitte Anderson with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade discusses B.C.'s plan to implement a vaccination card, including what it means for businesses and concerns around enforcement. – Aug 24, 2021

Support for “vaccine passports” is growing in B.C., according to a new poll.

The survey, conducted by B.C.-based pollster Research Co., found that 67 per cent of respondents backed the idea of proof of COVID-19 immunization to attend a live sporting event, up five per cent from a similar poll in March.

A majority of respondents also supported the idea for live concerts (66 per cent, up four points from March) the use of gyms and fitness facilities (63 per cent, up one point from March), to work in an office (63 per cent, up five points from March) or to go to a movie or theatre (62 per cent, up six points from March).

“We have two thirds of residents who believe its a good idea to go to a live concert or to go to a live sporting event,” Research Co. president Mario Canseco said.

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“We can contrast this with the success Manitoba has had because they implemented a vaccine passport fairly early, back in June. They just played a CFL for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in front of almost 30,000 people. And here we still have BC place at half capacity because we have been too late in getting to the vaccine passport.”

Click to play video: 'Industry welcomes vaccination card requirement'
Industry welcomes vaccination card requirement

Sixty-one per cent (up one point) backed “vaccine passports” for travel within B.C., while 69 per cent (up five points) supported them for travel elsewhere in Canada.

B.C. unveiled plans for a vaccine card system, which would require people attending a variety of non-essential services including restaurants and sporting events, on Monday.

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The program will require people to have one shot by Sept. 13, and two shots by Oct. 24 to access the services.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health said B.C. had seen vaccine registrations triple and bookings double on Monday and Tuesday compared to the same days a week prior.

The Research Co. poll also found lingering unease among British Columbians about attending large public events, amid rising case numbers and the now dominant Delta variant of COVID-19.

Just 20 per cent said they currently would feel comfortable attending a live sporting event, while 23 per cent would go to a live concert and 28 per cent would attend a fitness facility.

Click to play video: 'Effect of B.C. vaccination passport plan on vaccination rates'
Effect of B.C. vaccination passport plan on vaccination rates

Just over a third of respondents (37 per cent) said they’d ride the bus or SkyTrain, or attend a community centre (34 per cent).

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That’s compared to 70 per cent who said they’d dine on a restaurant patio, 56 per cent who said they’d dine indoors at a restaurant and 54 per cent who said they’d visit a barber or salon.

The results are based on an online survey conducted from August 19 to August 21, 2021, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

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