Potential COVID-19 Vaccination? An Early Investigation into Public Opinion

Katelin Albert, University of Victoria

During a global crisis like the current COVID-19 pandemic, health authorities and scientists work to manage uncertainty and produce safe interventions that could effectively prevent the spread and severity of disease. COVID-19 has put strain on national and international health care systems leading governments to work locally and internationally to coordinate efforts to develop drugs and vaccines to help ease the impact of this virus (Canada 2020). In Canada, efforts are underway to deliver large-scale public health interventions, such as a COVID-19 vaccination. Previous research on pandemic related vaccines shows that despite state and scientific efforts, few vaccination programs achieve their goals and see low vaccination uptake due to challenges such as limited supply chains and distribution difficulties (see Carlsen and Glenton 2016). In fact, governments are usually dissatisfied with pandemic vaccination rates, and research shows that the success of vaccination programs depends on public support (Young and Stern 2010). In Canada, media is already signaling vaccine hesitancy around a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Through semi-structured interviews, this research explores public attitudes towards a potential COVID-19 vaccine in British Columbia. I investigate what information people feel they have about COVID-19, their perceptions of risks associated with the virus, and their thoughts on a potential vaccine. Through investigating public attitudes, this research can guide public health interventions to help strategically inform vaccination programs as they develop.


Canada. 2020. “Drugs and Vaccines for COVID-19: Overview.” (https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-clinical-trials.html).

Carlsen, B., & Glenton, C. 2016. The swine flu vaccine, public attitudes, and researcher interpretations: a systematic review of qualitative research. BMC health services research, 16(1), 203.

Young, S., & Stern, E. 2010. Assessment Report on EU-wide Pandemic Vaccine Strategies.

Funding Agency: University of Victoria’s Faculty of Social Sciences COVID-19 Research Fund.

Research Status (as of October 27, 2020): Data collection stage

Contact: Katelin Albert

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