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Survey Suggests Some Canadians Worried About Safety of COVID-19 Vaccine

August 25, 2020 2:37 PM | The Canadian Press

By The Canadian Press

Dr. Theresa Tam

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Tuesday, August 25, 2020 in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

OTTAWA — A new Statistics Canada survey suggests that while the vast majority of Canadians would get a COVID-19 vaccine if and when it becomes available, more than one in 10 likely would not.

The survey comes as governments around the world are rushing to develop a vaccine for the illness that has infected more than 23 million people around the world, including 126,000 in Canada.

Among the reasons respondents gave for not wanting the vaccine were concerns about its safety and potential side effects, while some said they did not trust vaccines in general.

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says authorities need more information about those who are worried about or opposed to a vaccine to ensure they have the proper information about how vaccines are approved.

She says while efforts are being made to accelerate development of a vaccine, the federal government will not take shortcuts when it comes to ensuring the safety of a COVID-19 vaccine before it is approved and distributed.

Tam says she is concerned about misinformation spread online about vaccines, adding internet and social-media companies should have a responsibility to police their domains to make sure that doesn’t happen.

CP - The Canadian Press