New study shows 11 per cent of Sask. residents refusing COVID-19 vaccine
A new study from researchers at the University of Saskatchewan is providing more insight into factors associated with COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and refusal among Saskatchewan residents.
The study, which included just over 9,000 participants in Saskatchewan, found 76 per cent were willing to or had been vaccinated against the virus; 13 per cent had not decided; and 11 per cent said they would not get vaccinated.
According to the peer-reviewed article, a lower level of education, financial instability and indifference to spreading COVID-19 to others were all factors that contributed to vaccine refusal or skepticism.
Those who said they were only “somewhat concerned” about spreading the virus were nearly three times more likely to reject vaccinations, while respondents who reported a “slight concern” were 7.4 times more likely to say no to the shot.
Participants who identified as Indigenous were 2.4 times more likely to turn down the vaccine and 1.7 times more likely to be unsure of the jab. Women and newcomers were also more likely to be skeptical of the shot, while Saskatoon residents were less likely to outright refuse.
Researchers said the belief COVID-19 is a threat to the community and believing one is at a high risk of death or illness because of the virus lowered the possibility of vaccine refusal and hesitancy.
Respondents who thought COVID-19 is a “very/fairly big” threat were 86 per cent less likely to refuse vaccination and 57 per cent less likely to be wary of the shot compared to those who believed the threat was “very/fairly small.”
Researchers said they hope the results of the study will provide some direction for targeted efforts to increase vaccine acceptance and uptake across the province.