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Most (80%) will get the vaccine as soon as it’s available; many (69%) believe those with pre-existing conditions should be on the list of those with higher priority for the vaccine, and about half feel RCMP, firefighters, teachers, other healthcare workers and essential service workers should be prioritized before others currently on the list.

Vancouver, BC —As 2021 begins with COVID-19 vaccination rollout plans in the news on a daily basis, a recent survey of BC residents shows that many aren’t entirely supportive of the current distribution plans and hold differing opinions about the prioritization of the list of initial recipients.

Unlike the support received for most of the previous provincial government initiatives and policies relating to the pandemic, one of the policy plans has been met with significant opposition. In fact, the majority of residents do not give the overall vaccination rollout plans a positive review, as 51% rate the overall rollout plan as ‘fair’ (31%), ‘poor’ (14%), or ‘very poor’ (7%), and only a minority (35%) rate the current plan as ‘good’ (30%) or ‘excellent’ (5%). A similar rating is seen for the clarity of the order of who will get vaccinated as only 39% consider the clarity of the rollout plan/prioritization to be ‘good’ (28%) or ‘excellent’ (11%), while most (53%) provide lower ratings (27% ‘fair’, 15% ‘poor’ and 11% ‘very poor’).

While a majority approve of the fairness of the prioritization/who receives the vaccinations first (51% rate the plan as ‘good’ (34%) or ‘excellent’ (17%)), there is a pretty significant minority who are not in favour (38% rate it ‘fair’ (22%), ‘poor’ (9%) or ‘very poor’ (7%)). Further, low scores are given to the execution of the plan to date as only 30% rate it ‘good’ (24%) or ‘excellent’ (6%), while most (57%) provide lower ratings (27% ‘fair’, 19% ‘poor’, and 11% ‘very poor’).

Despite concerns about the vaccine rollout plans and the order of recipients, the vast majority have pushed those concerns aside and are ready to roll up their sleeves to be vaccinated when their time comes. Most (80%) will ‘definitely’ (58%) or ‘probably’ (22%) get the vaccine when its available to them, and only very few indicate they are opposed to it (7% ‘definitely will not’ and 5% ‘probably will not’). Older residents (55 years +) are more likely to ‘definitely’ get vaccinated (67%) than those in younger age groups (52% 18-34 and 53% 35-54 years).

The list of those who will receive the first vaccines is not without its controversy, as there is strong support for placing a number of groups on the priority list ahead of some already there. The first and highest ‘miss’ on the list is those with underlying medical conditions that put them at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19; 69% of residents believe that they should have been placed on the initial distribution list for the vaccine. In addition, about half think police/RCMP (51%), teachers (50%), firefighters (47%), other healthcare providers who are not on the original list (46%) and essential service workers (45%) should have been placed on the priority list ahead of at least some of the 11 that are currently included.

Another controversial element of the vaccination plan as outlined by the provincial government is the rank order of the list, as many British Columbia residents disagree with that rank ordering, feeling some groups should be moved up or down from the original list. There is a strong preference for moving essential health-care workers dealing with COVID-19 patients (currently #3 of the 11 listed) higher on the list (65% think they should be higher), and a similar number (61%) believe hospital staff and community GPs (currently #10) should also be higher on the priority list. Conversely, many BC residents feel that staff and inmates at correctional facilities (currently #7) should be placed lower on the list (30%), as should remote and isolated First Nations communities (#4, 27%) and those experiencing homelessness (#6, 23%).

“The rollout of the vaccination plans as presented by the BC government and health authority represents the first time since the pandemic began that the general public hasn’t been massively in favour of a government initiative related to the pandemic,” says Steve Mossop, president of Insights West. “The vaccine delays coupled with divergent plans between the provinces about who is on the list and in what order has resulted in some controversial disagreement among British Columbians, as our results show”.

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 from January 13-18, 2021 among a sample of 824 BC residents. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.4 percentage points for BC residents, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies between totals are due to rounding. Click HERE to view the detailed data tabulations.


For further information, please contact:

Steve Mossop
Insights West