Vaccine Confidence and Hesitancy in Canada

By Michele Sexsmith, CAIP

VaccineInsights uses March 2021 based survey data estimated by Environics Analytics to the neighbourhood level to provide the geographic and lifestyle understanding of vaccine hesitant populations for actionable insights. This allows employers, health units, and government to message differentially based on underlying cognitive factors to encourage vaccination to assist Canada in reaching herd immunity. It can also be used to identify workplace and retail locations with a higher probability of vaccine hesitant populations in advance, to reduce risk.

The survey sources include Trends, based on data from Caddle the week of March 15, 2021, and Drivers developed by BEworks in December 2020 on four cognitive factors correlated to vaccine hesitancy:

· Valuing Personal Beliefs vs. Empirical Evidence

· Scientific Knowledge

· Vaccine Risk Concerns

· Belief in Conspiracy Theories

About 18% of Canadians 16+ are “unsure” they will get the vaccine. 69% say “yes”, while 13% say “no”. Those who say “no” are more likely to live in small towns and rural locations, with up to 25% in some geographic areas. In urban areas, lower income Canadians are also more likely to say “no”, but even some high income lifestyle types show hesitancy, and these can be identified through mapping across the country.

You can browse through the interactive maps in this article showing the patterns of vaccine confidence/hesitancy both at a municipal level, and within a sample community.  

The diversity of populations, intentions and attitudes around vaccination require a more “surgical” approach to building confidence in COVID-19 vaccines. Ensuring that messaging is effective and communication programs are focused based on the media preferences of that population allows for more effective deployment of resources to the right audience, to get us through this pandemic faster.

More updates will be made available on an ongoing basis.

For  further information, contact Michele Sexsmith, CAIP, Senior Vice President and Practice Leader at [email protected]

About the Author:

Michele Sexsmith has over 30 years of experience in data and customer analytics. She has been at Environics Analytics for 14 years, was a professor at Georgian College’s Research Analyst Program for several years, and worked at Compusearch and Polk Canada previously. Having worked with several industry sectors, she is continuously intrigued by how data speaks with unexpected findings that lead to deeper insights, to provide clear direction for strategic and tactics. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Certified Analytics and Insights Professionals of Canada (CAIP)