Lack of demographic data leaving potential gaps in COVID-19 vaccine policy

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Several advocacy groups are concerned that a dearth of data about who is getting COVID-19 vaccines and who is not could be causing people of certain races or socio-economic backgrounds to fall through the cracks.

Without good information from the provinces, certain groups may be left vulnerable to the virus and disproportionately punished by vaccine mandates.

Dr. Kwame McKenzie, CEO of policy think tank Wellesley Institute, says research has indicated significantly less uptake in COVID-19 vaccines among racialized Canadians — particularly those who are Black — but the government is doing little about it.

As of Oct. 30, about 84 per cent of eligible Canadians have received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

McKenzie says without accurate data, it's difficult to know precisely who those other 16 per cent of people are and how to develop strategies to support them and win their trust.

Provincial governments and the Public Health Agency of Canada have not collected detailed information about people as they received their shots, but the government did commission a survey to examine attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccines back in spring 2021.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2021.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press

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