Half of Canadians have had COVID, but many of them aren’t sure they will take another booster

One in every two Canadians (49%) say they contracted COVID, including 1-in-10 (11%) who were infected more than once. But while almost 90% of Canadians have had prior vaccinations for COVID, a lot fewer are sure they will get another booster, and 28% are sure they will not do so.

Oct 29, 2023

Findings from our latest spark* insights polling (online survey of 2,000 Canadians conducted in October 2023) include:

  • Having had COVID does not mean greater likelihood of getting a booster. Almost half (46%) of those who have had COVID are not sure they will get a fall booster shot.
  • Young Canadians are more likely to have contracted COVID, with 59% experiencing it at least once and 18% catching it multiple times. But among this group, uptake of the booster might not exceed 50% this fall.
  • Seniors are less likely to have personally experienced COVID, and most interested in a fall booster shot. This cohort has consistently shown the greatest commitment to safety measures to mitigate the risks of COVID.
  • Conservative voters are more than 3 times more likely than Liberals to refuse this fall’s booster: 38% of CPC voters definitely will not, compared to 11% of Liberals.

Our take

Bruce Anderson: “Millions of Canadians have had COVID and while many plan to get a COVID booster this fall, a sizeable minority will not. This is likely due to a combination of factors, including: less fear of the severity of the illness, the accumulation of misinformation about risks associated with the vaccine, and politicization of the choice to be vaccinated or not. For those who want to see higher uptakes of COVID vaccines, the data make it clear that the challenges are largest among young people and conservative voters.”

Survey details: October 10-15 online, 2000 cases nationwide in Canada.

About spark*insights

spark*insights is lead by Bruce Anderson, one of Canada’s leading and most experienced public opinion researchers, along with Alex Kohut, former Senior Manager of Research & Advertising in the Office of the Prime Minister. From polling and research to analysis and guidance, we help organizations, uncover the factors driving or influencing public perception to gain valuable insights into the shape and movement of the landscape.

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