COVID-19 Vaccine–Related Attitudes and Beliefs in Canada: National Cross-sectional Survey and Cluster Analysis
Background: There are concerns that vaccine hesitancy may impede COVID-19 vaccine rollout and prevent the achievement of herd immunity. Vaccine hesitancy is a delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite their availability. Objective: We aimed to identify which people are more and less likely to take a COVID-19 vaccine and factors associated with vaccine hesitancy to inform public health messaging. Methods: A Canadian cross-sectional survey was conducted in Canada in October and November 2020, prior to the regulatory approval of the COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccine hesitancy was measured by respondents answering the question “what would you do if a COVID-19 vaccine were available to you?” Negative binomial regression was used to identify the factors associated with vaccine hesitancy. Cluster analysis was performed to identify distinct clusters based on intention to take a COVID-19 vaccine, beliefs about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines, and adherence to nonpharmaceutical interventions. Results: Of 4498 participants, 2876 (63.9%) reported COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Vaccine hesitancy was significantly associated with (1) younger age (18-39 years), (2) lower education, and (3) non-Liberal political leaning. Participants that reported vaccine hesitancy were less likely to believe that a COVID-19 vaccine would end the pandemic or that the benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine outweighed the risks. Individuals with vaccine hesitancy had higher prevalence of being concerned about vaccine side effects, lower prevalence of being influenced by peers or health care professionals, and lower prevalence of trust in government institutions. Conclusions: These findings can be used to inform targeted public health messaging to combat vaccine hesitancy as COVID-19 vaccine administration continues. Messaging related to preventing COVID among friends and family, highlighting the benefits, emphasizing safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination, and ensuring that health care workers are knowledgeable and supported in their vaccination counselling may be effective for vaccine-hesitant populations.
Characterization of non-adopters of COVID-19 non-pharmaceutical interventions through a national cross-sectional survey to assess attitudes and behaviours
Adoption of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) remains critical to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Using self-reported adherence to NPIs in Canada, assessed through a national cross-sectional survey of 4498 respondents, we aimed to identify and characterize non-adopters of NPIs, evaluating their attitudes and behaviours to understand barriers and facilitators of adoption. A cluster analysis was used to group adopters separately from non-adopters of NPIs. Associations with sociodemographic factors, attitudes towards COVID-19 and the public health response were assessed using logistic regression models comparing non-adopters to adopters. Of the 4498 respondents, 994 (22%) were clustered as non-adopters. Sociodemographic factors significantly associated with the non-adoption cluster were: (1) being male, (2) age 18–34 years, (3) Albertans, (4) lower education level and (5) higher conservative political leaning. Participants who expressed low concern for COVID-19 and distrust towards several institutions had greater odds of being non-adopters. This information characterizes individuals at greatest odds for non-adoption of NPIs to inform targeted marketing interventions.