On September 1, Health Canada approved a new bivalent COVID-19 vaccine that targets the Omicron variant. Just 38% of Canadians say they will “definitely” get this new booster shot. These findings come from INNOVATIVE’s latest online survey of 3,215 Canadian adults weighted to n=2000, conducted from August 5 to August 30, 2022.
Current vaccination status
About 2-in-3 Canadians say they have received at least one booster dose (66%) and 1-in-4 have been boosted twice (25%). Fewer than 1-in-10 say they have not been vaccinated at all (9%).
Less than 2-in-5 say they will “definitely” get the Omicron booster, while 1-in-4 say it is “very” or “somewhat” likely that they will get the booster (38% and 24%, respectively).
Canadians who have been boosted at least once are far more likely to say they will definitely get the new Omicron booster. Demand will be strongest among those who have already received four doses.
Older Canadians are much more interested in the booster than younger Canadians, with 61% of men and 54% of women over 55 saying they will “definitely” get the booster. Women aged 18-34 are the most likely to say they “definitely will not” get the vaccine (26%), followed by men aged 35-54 (20%).
Asked “Assuming COVID-19 remains in circulation for the foreseeable future, how likely would you be to get a regularly updated vaccine, similar to a seasonal flu shot?”, 35% say they would “definitely” get a routine COVID-19 vaccine. Another 28% say it is “very” or “somewhat” likely that they would, and 15% say they definitely would not get a regularly updated vaccine. Enthusiasm for the Omicron booster roughly matches the enthusiasm for a regularly updated COVID-19 vaccine.
Almost half of Canadians believe they have had COVID-19 at least once (47%), and almost 1-in-5 believe they have had COVID-19 more than once (18%). Less than half believe that they have never had COVID-19 (46%).
The gap between suspected cases and confirmed positive cases is quite large.
More than 1-in-3 Canadians say they have tested positive for COVID-19 (35%). About 7% say they have tested positive more than once. Almost 2-in-3 say they have never tested positive for COVID-19 (63%).
Past infection and booster uptake
Individuals who do not believe they have ever been infected with COVID-19 are more likely to say that they will definitely get the Omicron booster.
Among boosted Canadians who do not believe they have ever been infected, 60% say they will definitely get the Omicron booster. Among boosted Canadians who believe they have been infected at least once, 49% say they will definitely get the Omicron booster.
This trend is also present among Canadians who are vaccinated but not boosted. Among non-boosted Canadians who do not believe they have ever had COVID-19, 13% say they will definitely get the Omicron booster. Among non-boosted Canadians who believe they have been infected at least once, just 8% say they will definitely get the Omicron booster.