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

(Black Press file photo)
Blackfalds continuing its fight for a registries office

The Town of Blackfalds has been fighting for a Registry Service outlet for roughly a decade

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday that the province may consider a regional approach to loosening COVID-19 restrictions if numbers continue to decline. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Province further easing health restrictions

Numbers of people hospitalized and in intensive care has dropped dramatically, says premier

Eric Rajah, co-founder of A Better World. (Photo Submitted)
Two Lacombe residents recieve award from Governor General for chairty work

Eric Rajah and Brian Leavitt co-founded A Better World, a charity which started in Lacombe in 1990

A ” Justice for Jeff” T-shirt. (Photo submitted)
Rally to be held outside courthouse for man slain in Lacombe

Sentencing for accused charged with manslaughter with a firearm set for March 4 in Red Deer

File photo
Alberta’s central zone has 670 active cases

301 new cases identified Sunday

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

Ryan Jake Applegarth of Ponoka, 28, is scheduled to appear at Ponoka Provincial Court on March 12, 2021. (File photo)
Discussions about justice continue as Ponoka murder victim’s case proceeds

Reaction to comments Ponoka Staff Sgt. Chris Smiley made to town council last month

Dr. Stanley Read
Hometown Bashaw doctor recognized with alumni award for AIDS work

Dr. Stanley Read, born and raised in Bashaw, is considered a global health leader

A copy of the book “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” by Dr. Seuss, rests in a chair, Monday, March 1, 2021, in Walpole, Mass. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author and illustrator’s legacy, announced on his birthday, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that it would cease publication of several children’s titles including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo,” because of insensitive and racist imagery. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images

Books affected include McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer

AstraZeneca’s vaccine ready for use at the vaccination centre in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Reichel/dpa via AP
National panel advises against using Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors

NACI panel said vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are preferred for seniors ‘due to suggested superior efficacy’

Shipping containers are seen at the Fairview Cove Container Terminal in Halifax on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Canadian economy contracted 5.4 per cent in 2020, worst year on record

Drop was largely due to shutdowns in the spring as COVID began to spread

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Time to check the mail: Every household to receive a Canada Post postcard this spring

Postcard can be mailed for free to any address in Canada

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

Most Read