A majority of Canadians have little-to-no sympathy for their fellow citizens who are unvaccinated, a new national survey finds.
According to the poll, which was conducted by Maru Public Opinion on January 14 and 15 and surveyed an online panel of 1,506 Canadians, 54% of respondents said they have no sympathy for an unvaccinated person who becomes seriously ill or dies as a result of contracting COVID.
Further, a plurality of Canadians were found to be in favour of fierce punishments for the unvaccinated — with 37% of respondents saying it would be acceptable to deny the unvaccinated access to any publicly-funded hospital or medical services, and 27% saying they would support a short jail sentence for those who refuse the injection.
Other punishments for the unvaccinated that were considered in the poll include barring the unvaccinated from entering most public spaces (77% in favour), making them pay out of pocket the full medical cost of visits to hospital due to COVID (61% in favour), a special tax on the unvaccinated (such as has been announced in Quebec) of up to $150 per month (61% in favour) and refusing the renewal of their driver’s license (33% in favour).
The survey also found that 66% of Canadians are in favour of mandatory COVID shots for everyone over the age of five. Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said earlier this month that mandatory vaccination is likely coming soon, and something that provincial governments should be discussing.
Interestingly, when broken down by province, those 66% of Canadians who responded as being in favour of mandatory vaccination are most likely to be found in both British Columbia (75%) and Atlantic Canada (75%), followed by those living in Manitoba/Saskatchewan (71%), then Québec (67%), Ontario (62%), and Alberta (57%).
The study also explored the reasons why Canadians feel so harshly toward their neighbours who remain unvaccinated. The poll states:
Canadians view the unvaccinated as responsible for overwhelming the health care system (48%), people who are holding Canadians back from having a new normal life (40%), endangering society (36%), misguided conspiracy theorists (36%), good people with legitimate reasons/concerns (27%), reckless (26%), super-spreaders of the virus (17%), and/or heroes for free speech/choice (12%). In addition, A majority (54%) say they don’t have sympathy for the unvaccinated who get seriously ill or die from COVID.
For the 9% of respondents who admitted to being unvaccinated, the study further explored why they have thus far refused a COVID shot.
In contrast, for those who remain unvaccinated, their reasons for doing so are varied and numerous: they are defending their civil liberty to make a choice for themselves (45%), waiting on more data to see if it is truly safe for them to get the vaccine (42%), believing their immune system can beat COVID so there is no need for it (32%), being anxious/scared as to what it could do to them (28%), not wanting government telling them what to do (22%), being concerned about the potential impact to their genetic structure (21%), not wanting something foreign put in their body (15%), that it’s a hoax—it’s just a bad flu, not a killer (9%), and/or it’s just what drug companies have concocted to get rich (7%).