Poll: Half of Canadian parents with children aged 5-11 ready to vaccinate their kids

Nearly one-quarter say they will not vaccinate their children aged 5-11

Based on strong hints from public health officials and pharmaceutical companies, the next chapter of Canada’s mass COVID-19 vaccine story appears poised to involve inoculating younger children – and one-in-two parents of younger children are ready to jab their kids right away.

According to the latest data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute, half of parents say they plan to vaccinate their elementary school-aged children as soon as a vaccine is available to them. The data also finds that nearly one-quarter – 23 per cent – say they will not.

The responses come amid speculation that kids aged 5-11 will be soon eligible for COVID-19 inoculation. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer recently submitted data suggesting its vaccine is safe for that age group. And as COVID-19 cases increase in schools, some jurisdictions have begun planning for approval, with British Columbia allowing parents to register kids for their first jab in the event such approval is granted.

As with vaccination rates for the adult population, regional divisions are evident. While approximately 15 per cent of those with children aged 5-11 living in British Columbia, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada would not vaccinate their kids, the number doubles in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec, to closer to 30 per cent.

Meanwhile, discussions of a potential third dose of vaccine for adults, too, is generating interest. Thus far, some health authorities have been offering booster shots for health-care workers, long-term care residents, and at-risk individuals.

Overall, the idea of a third dose is palatable to most vaccinated Canadians. Three-in-five (62 per cent) say they would take the shot right away if it were offered, while another one-in-five (20 per cent) say they would get an additional dose eventually but would be in no rush.

Midwestern Newspapers conducted a similar poll on our website, which found that our readers have a different opinion than the Angus Reid poll respondents.

The Midwestern Newspapers poll had 267 responses, with 78 per cent saying they do not support COVID-19 vaccination of children aged 5-11. Twenty-two per cent said they were in favour.

More key findings of the Angus Reid poll:

  • Two-in-five (38 per cent) parents whose household income is less than $50,000 say they would be willing to do so right away, compared to 59 per cent among those earning more than $100,000.
  • More than three-in-five (63 per cent) parents with a university education say they would vaccinate their child as soon as possible, compared to 46 per cent of those whose educational attainment is a high school diploma or less.
  • Nearly two-in-five Canadians (37per cent) now say they do not ever expect Canada to return to a pre-COVID normal. This represents double the number who felt that way last December.