Willing to Share? Three Quarters Think Canadian Government Should Donate Vaccines to Developing Countries
Toronto, ON, February 2, 2022 – As the two-year anniversary of the declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic approaches, there is a sense that the next stage in the pandemic may necessitate a global approach including developed countries sharing/donating vaccines with developing nations. A recent Ipsos poll conducted for the Canadian Medical Association finds that three-quarters (77%) of Canadians agree that now that Canada has an ongoing supply of COVID-19 vaccines, the Government of Canada should donate vaccines to developing countries. While the data suggests Canadians feel comfortable donating vaccines on the premise that they have enough for themselves, relatively few are comfortable with the idea of increased spending: only 32% of Canadians think the government should spend more to purchase vaccines for developing countries. A comparable proportion (35%) thinks the government should spend the same, while 20% support a decrease in spending.
Majority Feel Canada Has Enough Vaccines to Vaccinate all Canadians
What is driving these perceptions? Canadian’s willingness to donate vaccines may be predicated on the belief that we now have enough for ourselves: 76% of Canadians agree that Canada has enough COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate all Canadians, significantly higher among Boomers (83% vs. 76% Gen X, 72% Millennials, 63% Gen Z) and residents of British Columbia (81% BC vs. 78% ON, 77% QC, 72% ATL, 71% SK/MB, 65% AB).
Building on the idea that Canada has enough to vaccinate its own population is the premise that global vaccination will help end the pandemic in Canada. Three-quarters (75%) of Canadians agree that global efforts to vaccinate everyone in the world, including people living in developing countries, will help end the pandemic for Canadians. Boomers show significantly stronger agreement than younger generations with this statement (83% vs. 74% Gen X, 66% Millennial, 73% Gen Z).
While this cumulatively suggests rather strong support for vaccine sharing, the key to vaccinating the developing world may lay with waiving vaccine patents. Two-thirds of Canadians agree that the Canadian government should support relaxing vaccine patents or intellectual property rules to increase developing countries’ access to vaccines. Canadians with higher education are significantly more likely to support the proposal of waiving patents or intellectual property rules (75% University Graduates vs. 68% post-secondary, 59% high school, 57% less than high school).
About the Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between Jan 21-23, 2022, on behalf of the Canadian Medical Association. For this survey, a sample of 2,001 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
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