Quebec residents’ reluctance to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has halved since the first wave of last spring, according to new figures released Tuesday by the National Institute of Public Health (INSPQ). But according to preliminary data from the organization, vaccinated people are also more likely to come into contact with people in their daily life.
If, before the pandemic, 20% of participants said they “had little or very little doubt about vaccination in general”, that percentage did decline “gradually” and reached 10% since the start of the third wave in Quebec. institute among more than 6,000 people in the period from early March to mid-April.
This “significant difference” did happen very gradually. From 20% last spring, fluctuations in vaccinations rose to 14% after the first wave, then to about 12% during the second, and finally hit the 10% mark.
The population has changed its course, and this is very good. At first, people were worried, and that’s okay. We are always afraid of the unknown, especially since this is the first time a vaccine of this type has been produced so quickly.
Roxana Borges da Silva, Professor at the Montreal School of Public Health (ESPUM)
But over time, “and after seeing the effects of the vaccination campaign, in addition to the evidence that comes with it, the vaccination quietly convinced more people,” she analyzes.
Moreover, a decrease in reluctance to vaccinate is observed in most age groups, even if in general women are even more reluctant to be vaccinated – namely 13% versus 7% for men. INSPQ also points out that participants born outside of Canada have shown “a growing tendency to fluctuate since the beginning of the pandemic.” In more disadvantaged areas, percentages are also “stable or slightly increasing”.
More contacts for the vaccinated?
While these are “preliminary” because the differences are not “statistically significant,” INSPQ data also suggest that vaccinated people may have had more social contacts, especially in homes with visitors, than those who were not vaccinated.
For example, in Greater Montreal, people aged 66-75 who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 report 0.75 daily contacts, compared with 0.46 for unvaccinated people. In leisure, the proportion is 0.15 versus 0, while elsewhere it is 0.92 versus 0.16.
“This is more worrying,” says Roxana Borges da Silva in this regard. It should be remembered that a single dose is not enough to achieve the desired immunity. Protects partially, and only after three weeks. It is important to continue to comply with sanitary rules. Even those vaccinated with a single dose, we can still put ourselves and others at risk. ”
The expert hopes that when Quebec opens vaccination to the general population, resistance to vaccination will decrease even more in the coming weeks. “The stake remains that in 20-40 years we will find many anti-vaccines. I hope we can still surpass 75% of the vaccinated population, this is important for the future, ”she concludes.
On Tuesday, Quebec passed the threshold of 33.3% of the population who received the first dose. If we take into account only the residents of Quebec who are eligible for the vaccine, namely those aged 16 and over, the vaccination rate has now reached 40%.