Canadian Manufacturing

Half of Canadians don’t think COVID-19 vaccine is safe, but will still take it: survey

A survey of 2,002 Canadians in the last five days reveals the vast majority want a made-in-Canada solution

December 17, 2020  by CM Staff

(Pixel-Shot/Adobe Stock)

TORONTO — Amid the initial rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, eight in 10 Canadians would line up for a shot within the next three months if it were offered to them, but nearly half question its safety, highlighting the need to bolster public trust and confidence, finds a new survey of 2,002 Canadians by KPMG in Canada.

“With half of the population in Canada looking for assurances on the safety and rollout of the vaccines, it’s critical that all players in the healthcare sector continue to work together to strengthen the public’s comfort in getting inoculated,” said Jerome Thirion, a partner and KPMG’s national leader of supply chain management, in a prepared statement. “Conflicting messages makes full transparency essential for a successful roll out of the country’s largest-ever vaccine campaign.”

Key Findings:

  • Eight in 10 Canadians say they would take a COVID-19 vaccine within the next three months if it were offered to them.
  • Just over half (53%) of Canadians feel that it’s totally safe to get inoculated
  • A quarter of Canadians worry that it is not totally safe but are willing to accept the risk and take the shots to get their lives and the economy back on-track
  • One in five (22%) say they won’t take it due to concerns about vaccine safety and how the rollout will be managed
  • The survey also finds that Canadians expect the vaccine to be distributed in a manner that minimizes interjurisdictional red tape and tracking systems are in place to ensure multijurisdictional coordination between various levels in the healthcare system.


    “There is light in this very dark tunnel. But, Canada is at a critical juncture,” said Karina Guy, a partner and KPMG’s digital health leader in Western Canada. “For so many Canadians, the last 10 months have been difficult with lives taken and livelihoods lost. Now, Canada has an opportunity to build hope and momentum, supported by transparency and trust.”

    The top concerns over a COVID-19 vaccine program include:

  • Vaccines have been rushed to market without knowing if they are safe (63%);
  • The distribution in Canada will be delayed by inter-jurisdictional red tape (46%);
  • The same quality/reliability issues with foreign-made vaccines as experienced with foreign-made personal protective equipment (PPE) in phase 1 of the pandemic (45%); and,
  • Tracking systems will be inadequate between various levels in the healthcare system leading to an over- or under-supply and an inability to know who has been vaccinated (42%).
  • When KPMG asked Canadians in May if they would get a COVID-19 vaccination shot when it became available, 83% said they would and an overwhelming majority (94%) said it was their “civic duty as Canadians to flatten the COVID-19 curve”, putting public health and safety ahead of the economy.