Nearly 75 per cent of Torontonians say that they will get a COVID-19 vaccine once its available, surpassing the threshold that the World Health Organization has said is necessary to achieve herd immunity in a community.
According to an online survey of 1,201 residents that was conducted on behalf of Toronto Public Health by Ipsos Reid, about 73 per cent of respondents said that they would either definitely get a COVID-19 vaccine (40 per cent) or probably get it (33 per cent) once they become available.
About 16 per cent of respondents said that they would definitely or probably not get the vaccine. A further 11 per cent of respondents weren’t sure.
The survey would seem to suggest that enough Torontonians do plan to get vaccinated to achieve widespread herd immunity, something the WHO says is possible once about 65 to 70 per cent of a population is protected.
Of course, it could be a while before the majority of Torontonians are able to get access to a vaccine.
The province has said that it expects to receive a combined 2.4 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in the first three months of 2021, which would only be enough to vaccinate 1.2 million Ontarians with healthcare workers and long-term care residents expected to be at the front of the line.
In a staff report that will be considered by the city’s board of health next week, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said that Toronto’s vaccine task force has been meeting since November and is “actively preparing for the logistics of receiving and distributing the vaccines for Toronto residents.”
As part of that work, she said that the task force is engaged with “the healthcare sector to make sure it is ready for vaccination” in early 2021. Toronto Public Health staff are also preparing a “community-centric vaccination campaign” that would focus on ensuring “that many diverse populations are properly aware of, and engaged in, the COVID-19 immunization planning,” De Villa said.
During next week’s meeting the board of health will vote on a motion which would ask the Ministry of Health for resources and funding to adequately prepare for Toronto’s COVID-19 immunization plan, including support for required technology, staffing, and logistics.”
It will also consider another motion which would formally ask that the province consults TPH staff in creating its vaccine information system.
Photo credit: Collected
News source: CP24