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)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Winlaw artist Lou Lynn is one of eight Canadians to win a Governor General's award this year. Photo: Janet Dwyer
Winlaw artist Lou Lynn wins Governor General’s award

Lynn is among eight artists honoured throughout Canada

The winged floater mussel can be spotted at Arrow Lake. Photo: Bill Chapman
LETTER: Native mussels visible at Arrow Lakes near Castlegar

Low water levels revealing native mussels

Castlegar’s Gabrielle Herle (right) will be one of the speakers at the conference. She is seen here with Wendy Gaskill from Chinook Scaffolding accepting their Contractor of the Year Award in 2019 from the Builders Code Champion Awards. Photo: Submitted
Girls in STEAM and Leadership Conference offered free for all girls in the Kootenay Boundary

Virtual conference for girls in grades 8 to 12 will be taking place on March 8

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

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

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Most Read