As B.C. prepares for vaccine passports, study breaks down reasons for opposition | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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As B.C. prepares for vaccine passports, study breaks down reasons for opposition

A COVID-19 vaccine passport protest outside of Kelowna General Hospital, Sept. 1, 2021.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/David Crawford
September 07, 2021 - 11:45 AM

As the B.C. government gets set to roll out its plans for a vaccine passport, a new study suggests seven per cent of the population is fervently opposed to vaccines and passports.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, Premier John Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix are releasing details of their plan at 2 p.m. today, which will take effect Sept. 13. They have already announced that residents will be required to show proof of at least one dose of vaccine to enter certain public venues such as restaurants, movies, live events including concerts and sports and a second dose as of Oct. 24.

B.C. is in the midst of a fourth wave as cases and hospitalizations climb again.

Numbers from the Ministry of Health show 84.6 per cent of residents over the age of 12 have one dose of vaccine and 76.9 per cent have both doses.

That leaves roughly 15 per cent unvaccinated and a new poll by Insights West suggests just under half of those will refuse the vaccine no matter what conditions are imposed by government.

READ MORE: Three-quarters of Canadian parents believe teachers, school staff should be vaccinated against COVID-19

The Sept. 3 survey of only those opposed to vaccines and vaccine mandates attempted to delve into the reasons why they oppose public health orders.

The polling company had earlier found that 79 per cent of British Columbians support vaccine mandates and 13 per cent ’strongly opposed’.

When Insights West asked for their number one reason for opposition, 35% said they believe it is illegal and against the charter of rights and freedoms, 29% said they have the right to choose for their own body and another 8% said they were opposed to government control.

Nearly all respondents shared all three concerns and 96% said they were concerned about long term side effects of the vaccines themselves.

"One of the interesting changes to the debate recently is the emphasis that this group places on personal freedoms and government controls as a primary reason for not taking the vaccine versus where the debate was centred earlier in the pandemic relating to doubts about the vaccine itself,” Insights West said in a release. "The other interesting finding is the extent to which this group has embraced online debates and conspiracy theories against the vaccine.”

READ MORE: Interior Health COVID numbers hold steady; cases surge in Fraser Health

The study found that an impending passport system had no effect on their decisions to get vaccinated or not.

The study suggests this group is equally split between male and female and represents all age groups and geographic regions.

They’re also fairly well educated with 53% have post-secondary degrees or certificates and high income level (62 per cent have household incomes above $75,000).

READ MORE: Proof of vaccination will be required for BCHL games in Penticton

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