A new survey suggests a widening gap between the pandemic views of people who have opted to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster and those who are holding steady with only two shots.
A web panel survey carried out by Leger for the Association for Canadian Studies shows 67 per cent of people with a booster dose who responded are afraid of contracting COVID-19, compared to just 52 per cent of those with two doses.
“We’re seeing what I call a ‘booster hesitancy,’ as opposed to a vaccine hesitancy, and it’s shaping some of their attitudes. Their level of concern about COVID is a bit different from the boosted. The degree to which they’re concerned about the vaccination is a bit different,” said Jack Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies.
For instance, 82 per cent of boosted respondents said they supported vaccine mandates at shopping malls and retail outlets, compared to only 57.8 per cent of people with two doses.
And 79 per cent of boosted people responded that they strongly support vaccine mandates in other non-essential public places like bars, restaurants and gyms.
That’s compared to only 48 per cent of people with two vaccine doses.
There appears to be a growing split between the “boosted and the two-timers,” Jedwab said.
“The issue takes on a bit more complexity than it (had) previously,” he said.
People who received a booster shot were also more likely to respond that governments should not lift COVID-19 restrictions, at 85 per cent, compared to 71.5 per cent of people with two doses.
Generally, unvaccinated people responded at the other far end of the spectrum, with 65 per cent responding that COVID-19 restrictions should be lifted, and 94 per cent expressing opposition to vaccine mandates in shopping centres.
“They’re in a completely different place,” said Jedwab.
The results were gathered from 1,547 Canadians over the age of 18 between Jan. 7 and Jan. 9, and cannot be assigned a margin of error because the web survey did not randomly sample the population.