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Fully 99% of this group indicate the new vaccine card system will not change their mind about getting vaccinated; the number one reasons for not getting vaccinated is the ‘right to choose for my body’ (25%), concerns about long-term side effects (19%), and it is illegal/against the Canadian Constitution (15%)

Vancouver, BC — As the province of BC plans for the rollout of a vaccine card system in less than two weeks, a small group of strongly opinionated unvaccinated people are increasingly becoming the focal point for public debate and discussion. Our recent survey of this unvaccinated British Columbians who are against the vaccine card system reveals that they are opposed to the public mandate because of freedom of choice for their body the perception that it is against the Canadian Charter of Rights. They are universally opposed to every circumstance in which proof of vaccinations will be required and believe in many types of misinformation about the vaccine.

Two weeks ago (see our August 16 release), a survey of a random sample of BC adults 18+ in the population found the majority (79%) were supportive of the idea of a vaccine card system, and 13% were ‘strongly opposed’. We also found that 10% of the adult population is unvaccinated, and of that group, 71% have no plans to get vaccinated, and a similar number (70%) are strongly opposed to the upcoming vaccine card system. It is this small group of people who are strongly opposed to the vaccination card system and have no intention of ever getting the vaccine (about 7% of the BC adult population) that we wanted to speak to further to help delve into the mindset of this increasingly vocal part of the population.

When this group is asked their main reason for being opposed to a vaccination card system, the number one reason given (35%) is the belief that it is illegal/against the constitution or charter of rights and freedoms in our country. A second related reason is this group feels they have the right to choose, or the freedom of choice for their body (29%). The next highest reason (8%) is opposition to the government controlling them, and related to this, 4% believe it infringes on their personal privacy. The remainder of reasons given relate more to reasons being opposed to the vaccine itself (side effects, not effective, don’t trust vaccines, etc.)

Opposition to the vaccine card system is not centred upon any one particular activity—this group is opposed to having to show a vaccination card under any circumstances. They are strongly opposed to having to show for restaurants/pubs (98%), movie theatres (98%), indoor gatherings (98%), concerts (95%), live sporting events (95%), gyms, pools and other recreational facilities (97%) casinos (96%), nightclubs (93%), recreational classes (98%) and student housing (97%).

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. The other interesting finding is the extent to which this group has embraced online debates and conspiracy theories against the vaccine. When we look at the top reason this group is opposed to getting the vaccine personally, it centres on the right to choose/freedom to choose for my body (99% it’s a major or minor reason). And while the second reason is worry about the long-term side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine (96%), the third reason (96%) relates to ‘opposition to the government controlling me’. Another top reason for not being vaccinated is a lack of trust in the safety of the vaccine (95%), followed by the fact it doesn’t completely prevent people from getting or spreading the disease (94%). Sixth on the list is the belief that it is illegal or it’s against the charter of rights and the Canadian constitution (91%). The remaining reasons centre on earlier research we’d done around vaccine hesitancy (see our April 19 release), such as worry about efficacy (87%), the short-term side effects (86%), big pharmaceutical companies just wanting to make money (83%) or the perception that they already take enough precautions (74%), or the believe they are unlikely to have serious complications (72%) if they do get COVID-19. Two-thirds (66%) believe that COVID-19 is not a serious disease, and 23% don’t trust any vaccine.

Unfortunately, knowing that the vaccine card system is coming into effect has not changed the stance of vaccination status for these individuals. A full 99% of this group says they are no more likely to get the vaccine knowing that this is coming (only 1% agree they will).

Demographically, this unvaccinated group that is strongly opposed to the vaccine card system is from a wide range of British Columbians and does not centre specifically on any particular group. This group is equally split male and female, is representative of all age groups and is from all regions of the province. This group tends to be more highly educated (53% have a post-secondary degree or certificate), and they are slightly higher income than average (62% of those willing to share this information with us have household incomes above $75K). Their past voting behaviour indicates a much higher affiliation with more right wing parties (25% of those willing to share their 2019 provincial voting behaviour with us voted for the Conservative Party of BC, 19% Liberals, 10% BC NDP, 5% Green, 7% another party; 10% did not vote and 24% preferred not to answer or were unsure).

“The continuing divide between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated is being driven further by a small segment of unvaccinated who have no intention of getting the jab and are becoming more and more vocal in their opposition” says Steve Mossop, President of Insights West. “From in-person protests, confrontations in public settings to social media rants, this group is further dividing our country through mistruths and the perpetuation of unfounded conspiracy theories. Unfortunately this group is entrenched in their beliefs and will inevitably become the focal point for conflict going forward.”

About Insights West:
Insights West is a full-service marketing research firm based in Western Canada. Since 2012, the company has conducted over one million surveys, executed 2,000 studies, and issued over 350 press releases on a variety of topics, correctly predicting the outcomes of 25 out of 26 elections and plebiscites. Insights West is a team of passionate, truth-seeking researchers who question everything to uncover the truth and what is emerging for a diverse set of clients. With an understanding of shifting markets, consumer and societal trends, and commitment to uncovering truths through a proprietary toolkit and innovative research approaches, Insights West helps organizations make better decisions.

About this Release:
Results are based on an online study conducted August 25-September 1, 2021 among an opportunity sample of 543 residents across BC who are both unvaccinated and who are strongly opposed to BC’s vaccine card system. Respondents were recruited to participate in the survey through social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram. Because it is a self-selected sample, we cannot attach typical margins of error normally associated with typical opinion polling. Click HERE to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Mossop
Insights West