The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine is shown at a vaccine clinic in Toronto, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. The vast majority of Canadians blame Ottawa rather than provincial governments for delays in COVID-19 vaccine delivery, a new poll suggests. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine is shown at a vaccine clinic in Toronto, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. The vast majority of Canadians blame Ottawa rather than provincial governments for delays in COVID-19 vaccine delivery, a new poll suggests. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Poll finds most Canadians blame federal government for vaccine delays

Residents remain divided on whether they will be able to roll up their sleeves before October

The vast majority of Canadians blame Ottawa rather than provincial governments for delays in COVID-19 vaccine delivery, a new poll suggests.

Sixty-nine per cent of respondents believe Canada is behind on deliveries due to federal challenges obtaining doses on the global market, according to an online survey by Léger and the Association for Canadian Studies.

Only 14 per cent of respondents point the finger at provincial governments.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says all Canadians who want a dose will get one by the end of September, despite recent hiccups in the production of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Residents remain divided on whether they will be able to roll up their sleeves before October, with 44 per cent confident they will and 51 per cent skeptical.

The split suggests Canadians maintain a measure of faith in the Liberal government’s procurement efforts, said Léger executive vice-president Christian Bourque.

“People haven’t given up hope that we will get there, but they’re certainly looking for answers,” he said.

Canada sits well below the top of the heap in vaccine doses administered per 100 people, ranking 17th out of two dozen large countries — well behind Romania and just ahead of China and Russia — according to one list.

“A lot of what we hear is that Canada is falling behind. When people hear that, they automatically think it’s got to be something going on in Ottawa more than in my province,” Bourque said.

Pfizer-BioNTech cut Canada’s deliveries by more than two-thirds over four weeks while a production site in Belgium was expanded, though shipments are mounting again as the month progresses.

Moderna also shorted Canada on expected doses at the start of February — the company attributed the problem to a slower-than-expected production ramp-up at its Swiss manufacturing partner Lonza — and will deliver only two-thirds of the initially planned drop during its next shipment on Feb. 22.

Just one in five survey respondents said Ottawa should look to approve vaccines developed in Russia and China even if further delays trip up the rollout at home.

Germany became an unlikely backer of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine earlier this month, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying she would consider distributing it and providing production sites to speed up the European Union’s inoculation drive.

“It seems to be gaining some momentum or public favour, but for some reasons Canadians, they’re shying away from it,” Bourque said of the Sputnik jab.

The proportion of respondents who intend to get shots when a vaccine becomes available to them continues to grow, hitting 73 per cent versus 63 per cent in mid-October.

“So the intention is there,” Bourque said.

“But again, it’s just a question of supply.”

Conducted Feb. 12 to 14, the online poll surveyed 1,535 Canadians. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

READ MORE: Racialized adults on revised federal COVID-19 vaccination priority list

Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirusvaccines

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

Sherpas Cinema films Imagination in the West Kootenay. Photo: Jake Dyson
New Kootenay film commission unveiled

The Civic Theatre and Kootenay Rockies Tourism have partnered on the initiative

Old tennis courts in Salmo are going to be renovated thanks to a School District 8 initiative. Photo: Submitted
Salmo tennis courts, skate park to be revitalized

School District 8 is partnering with other organizations on the $135,000 project

Hannah Deboer-Smith (left) and her sister Avery Deboer-Smith are involved in myriad activities in Nelson. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
The women who make Nelson great

We celebrate some of the women who make impacts big and small on our city

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. File photo
COMMON’S CORNER: Challenging the government on vaccine availability and more

The first of a quarterly column from Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read