Most Canadians support vaccine passports for non-essential activities: poll

MONTREAL — A majority of Canadians support a system that would require proof of vaccination to access certain non-essential services, according to a new poll, as the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold.

Seventy-six percent of respondents to the Leger and Association for Canadian Studies poll said they would strongly or somewhat support a vaccine passport like the one Quebec is implementing.

Quebecers are even more in favor of the measure, with 81% saying they are in favor of the plan, which will apply in places such as bars, concerts and festivals where there are many people in a confined space.

And this despite a weekend rally that drew thousands of protesters to the streets of downtown Montreal, calling on Prime Minister François Legault to reverse his decision and hold a debate on the issue.

The questions about vaccine passports come as the poll suggests optimism about the pandemic is waning, said Andrew Enns, executive vice president of Leger.

“I’m looking at these numbers, and I feel like Canadians are starting to feel a bit uncertain about where the pandemic is headed,” he said, noting Leger’s tracking of people who believe in the worst of the pandemic. is finished.

“That number has been declining for almost a month.”

In the latest set of data, 44% of people said they felt the worst of the pandemic was already over. That’s down from a peak of around 70% in late June.

Enns attributed this to the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, which is fueling the fourth wave of the pandemic.

Canada’s top public health doctor has warned the new wave is well under way, with nearly 20,800 active cases of the virus as of Thursday, more than double what they were two weeks earlier.

Ninety percent of COVID-19 diagnoses since the start of the vaccination campaign have been in people who weren’t fully vaccinated, according to data from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Tracking provincial data shows nearly 83% of Canadians have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 74% are fully vaccinated.

The Léger survey also sheds light on trends in vaccination.

It revealed that 18% of respondents who had received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine had taken doses of two different brands.

Of these, 58% received a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and said they would be willing to take a third dose as a booster if scientific evidence suggested it would offer better protection.

Another seven percent who received a dose of AstraZeneca said they would not take a third dose of the vaccine.

The remaining 35% of respondents who mixed doses had not taken AstraZeneca, so the question did not apply to them.

Meanwhile, nine percent of Leger poll respondents said they were not vaccinated and did not plan to get vaccinated, while five percent said they had not yet been vaccinated, but that they were planning it eventually.

Leger surveyed 1,515 Canadian adults between August 13 and 15.

No margin of error can be attributed to the survey, as online surveys are not considered random samples.

— This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 20, 2021.

Michelle J. Kelley