The federal government is enjoying more support for its vaccine rollout, with almost half of Canadians now saying they believe Ottawa has done a very good job on the program, according to a new poll.
Over all, provincial governments have even more backing for their role in the vaccination campaign, but provincial governments in Ontario and the Prairies are faring much worse in public opinion than their counterparts across the country, according to the Nanos Research poll conducted for The Globe and Mail.
“As more and more Canadians get vaccinated, they’re starting to feel better about the job that both the federal government and the respective provincial governments are doing. So that is trending in the right direction,” Nanos Research founder Nik Nanos said Monday.
As of May, 47 per cent of survey respondents said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government was doing a very good job in the vaccine rollout, up significantly from January when only 31 per cent said the same.
The number who say the federal government has done a very poor job sits at 20 per cent, down from a high of 37 per cent in February. The percentage of people who say the federal performance was average remains relatively stable at 30 per cent.
Over all, 53 per cent of respondents said their provincial government had done a very good job on the vaccine rollout, up from 41 per cent in January. But the view on governments in Ontario and the Prairies is acting as a drag on the overall numbers, Mr. Nanos said.
Ontario’s vaccine rollout has been mired in confusion, with a complicated appointment process that made finding bookings difficult. That province clocked the lowest score, with an average rating from respondents at 4.7 out of 10. Comparatively Quebec, which had the highest support, ranked an average of 8.3 out of 10.
The survey was conducted between May 30 and June 2.
While overall approval is moving in the right direction, Mr. Nanos said there’s still discomfort with the mostly partial – or single-dose – vaccination coverage.
Canada is second in the world (behind Israel) for first-dose vaccine administration, according to Oxford University’s Our World in Data website. But that success is at the expense of a timely administration of second doses, which are doled out at a longer interval than recommended by the drug makers, in order to give more people partial coverage. The strategy was recommended by a federal advisory panel, but it means that the country significantly trails its peers on second-dose administration.
“This is definitely a work in progress,” Mr. Nanos said. “People are tentative right now – once they get their second vaccination, they’ll be a lot more confident.”
Only 36 per cent of respondents to the Nanos survey said they would be comfortable or somewhat comfortable with people returning to large sporting events and concerts this summer, if many people are not fully vaccinated. Sixty-three per cent of respondents said they would be uncomfortable or somewhat uncomfortable with the prospect.
The hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,029 Canadian adults has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
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