Survey says ...
A recent survey by Chatham-Kent Public Health is revealing how residents feel about COVID-19 and a vaccine.
Although a vast majority of Chatham-Kent residents say they trust information from Public Health and are following public health measures, only about half, say they “definitely” or “probably” will take a COVID-19 vaccine, according to new results from a survey.
Between Oct. 22 and Nov. 2, a total of 540 Chatham-Kent residents participated in the telephone survey. Participants were selected at random, and the survey was representative of Chatham-Kent’s population by gender, age and region. Chatham-Kent Public Health worked with IPSOS on the survey.
According to Public Health, the margin of error was plus or minus 4.2 percent, 19 times out of 20.
The questions covered a variety of topics, including the perceived risk and concerns related to COVID-19, opinions on COVID-19 public health measures, as well as vaccination intention and beliefs.
“We’re fairly confident that if we were to survey all residents of Chatham-Kent, we would end up with the same results we found with this survey of 540 people, with minor differences,” said the health unit in a release.
The results showed 33 percent of residents would “definitely” get vaccinated from COVID-19 while 21 percent will “probably” get vaccinated. Another 29 percent of respondents stated they are unsure, six percent indicated they probably wouldn’t get the vaccine, and 11 percent stated they definitely wouldn’t be inoculated.
The results also showed that 55 percent of respondents said they are worried about getting infected with COVID-19 this year.
“Among those who express concern, the efficacy of the vaccine and concerns about side effects top the list of reasons for their hesitancy,” read the report.
The survey indicated that women were “significantly” more likely to be hesitant towards the COVID-19 vaccine.
“This appears only related to the COVID-19 vaccination, as women are significantly more likely to have already got or are planning to get the flu shot, pointing to a disparity in attitudes towards influenza versus COVID-19 vaccine,” read the report.
Additionally, the report states 90 percent of Chatham-Kent residents said the health unit is doing a good job providing up-to-date information; 92 percent said they trust the health unit to protect the health and well-being of the community; and 83 percent feel confident the local medical officer of Health will inform them of risks associated with the pandemic.
According to survey results, it does appear that Chatham-Kent residents are following public health measures.
Ninety-two percent of respondents said they adapted to the new measures and settled into new routines as a result of the pandemic, 89 percent agreed that restrictions are necessary and that 75 percent said that the people around them are complying with the measures as well. Meanwhile, 94 percent of residents indicated that they are washing their hands regularly, 91 percent make sure to wear a face-covering, and 82 percent said they social distance by keeping two metres apart.
However, one in five respondents said they believed that restrictive measures are doing more harm than good.
Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health said getting a large segment of the population vaccinated is the only way we are going to get the pandemic under control once and for all.
“Any vaccine that is approved by Health Canada will be safe and effective, and no one should hesitate getting it,” said Colby.
Other results from the survey:
- 44 percent think the media is exaggerating the extent of the outbreak
- 31 percent said their mental health is slightly or much worse than it was before the pandemic
- 24 percent said they think they would get “extremely” or “very” sick if they were to get the virus, 46 percent think they would get “somewhat” sick, and 19 percent think they wouldn’t get very sick
- 89 percent agree public-health restrictions are necessary, and 75 percent think others are complying
- 87 percent are confident testing is available for those who need it
- 46 percent of resident have either been vaccinated for influenza or plan on getting vaccinated.
Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News