TORONTO – With Health Canada expected to soon begin considering COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for children aged five to 11, a new survey The Angus Reed Institute says more than half of Canadian parents plan to jab their kids as soon as they get the green light.

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However, in a sign of divided opinion on vaccination nationwide, nearly one-quarter say they will not vaccinate their primary school-aged children, even if the vaccines are approved for the age group.

The survey found that 51 percent of parents planned to vaccinate their children as soon as they were approved, while 18 percent said they eventually plan to have their children vaccinated, but would wait some time at first. Twenty-three percent said they would not vaccinate their children, and nine percent said they were not sure.

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An online survey of 5,011 Canadian adults was conducted from September 29 to October 3 among members of the Angus Reed Forum referendum community. The survey was paid for by the Angus Reed Institute and has a margin of error of +/- 2.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Currently, the vaccine is only approved for people 12 years of age and older, but that may soon change as Pfizer and its partner BioNTech have submitted preliminary data to Health Canada for approval for ages five to 11. . A Pfizer spokesman said last week the company is expected to make a formal submission by mid-October.

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More than 80 percent of Canadians over the age of 12 are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and the daily infection rate According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, most are now in the 0-19 age group, surpassing the 20-39 age group in September.

The survey outlined regional differences across Canada, as less than 20 percent of parents in Ontario, BC and Atlantic Canada said they would refrain from vaccinating their children, while Quebec and Alberta were 30 percent and 29 percent, respectively. The survey also showed that the willingness to vaccinate young children was higher among parents with higher household incomes and those with university degrees.

With federal agencies now considering the need for booster shots, the survey found that 62 percent of Canadians would immediately take a third dose if it were available, while 20 percent said they would eventually get a booster but would wait first. Only nine percent said they would not get a boost shot.

The survey also asked when people in Canada expect things to be “back to normal”. More than a third of respondents, or 37 percent, said they don’t think this will ever happen.