A new survey by the Angus Reid Institute shows that just over half of parents are ready to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19 when vaccines are approved for that age group.
According to the survey, 51 per cent of Canadian parents with kids aged five to 11 are ready to have them immunized once a vaccine is approved for that age group. Eighteen per cent say they will eventually get their kids immunized but will wait first while nearly 23 per cent of parents say they will not be vaccinating their children.
The survey found the willingness to vaccinate children was higher among respondents with higher household income and education levels. Fifty-nine per cent of respondents with an annual household income over $100,000 and 63 per cent of parents with a university education or higher said they would vaccinate their child as soon as possible.
The survey showed less hesitancy around child immunization in B.C., Ontario, and Atlantic Canada with 15 per cent of respondents in those provinces saying they would not vaccinate their children. Vaccine hesitancy was higher in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec, with closer to 30 per cent saying they would forego vaccinations for their children.
“It does say to me that public health officials, just as they’ve had to do work around reassuring people to get a vaccine in the adult population, they’re going to now have to turn around and do that reassurance for parents,” Angus Reid Institute president Shachi Kurl said.
Pfizer has asked Health Canada to approve the first COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11 years old.
As soon as the regulator gives the green light, providers will be able to start offering the COVID-19 shot to kids, though new child-sized doses might need to be procured.
The doses are about one-third the size given to adults and teens age 12 and up.
The survey also found 62 per cent of respondents said they would be willing to receive a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine if it were offered to them.
The number of Canadians who feel that things will never return “back to normal” has nearly doubled this year. The survey found 37 per cent believe Canada “won’t ever go back to the way it was” before the pandemic, up from 21 per cent in a survey conducted in January.
Thirty per cent felt a return to normal will happen sometime after the end of 2022 while 28 per cent said six months to a year.
— With files from The Canadian Press