A new survey shows that tensions over COVID-19 vaccines are high in Canada as friction grows between those who are vaccinated against the virus and those who are not.
The Lager survey for the Association of Canadian Studies found that more than three out of four respondents held negative views of people who have not been vaccinated.
Association president Jack Zwab says the relationship between vaccinated and unvaccinated Canadians is also viewed negatively by two out of three survey participants.
The online survey surveyed 1,549 Canadians between September 10 and 12.
No margin for error can be allowed in online polls, as they are not considered to be a truly random sample of the population.
The survey found vaccinated people rated as irresponsible and selfish as opposed by those who are not immunized.
Some members of the latter group have been demonstrating outside hospitals and schools in recent weeks to protest against vaccine passports and other public health measures.
“I would say a high degree of hatred or animosity towards people who are unaffiliated at the moment,” Jedwab said. “What you’re seeing is the tension played out between family members and friends, colleagues, where there is a relationship between people who have been vaccinated and those who haven’t been vaccinated.”
He said the situation creates friction and it is persistent.
The survey results, he noted, also suggest that the tension between vaccinated and unvaccinated Canadians is on par with some other social, racial and cultural issues that divide populations.
“I understand a lot of the negative sentiment that people feel towards certain groups, being displaced by a sense of hatred towards people who are unvaccinated,” he said.
Jedwab said the survey also found a split between those who haven’t been vaccinated, with one in four non-vaccinated respondents holding negative views of others with similar vaccination status.
Jedwab said the survey findings suggest that non-vaccinated people would individually justify their reasons for not being vaccinated, but would disapprove of others’ decisions to follow the same course.
An earlier association poll suggested that unvaccinated Canadians are more concerned about getting the vaccine than contracting COVID-19, and that most Canadians would refuse to allow unvaccinated adults into their homes.
Jedwab said he expects the tension between vaccinated and non-vaccinated to become even greater as governments and employers push for more people to get their shots.