results give us an idea of ​​who really is vaccine hesitant in Alberta – fr

results give us an idea of ​​who really is vaccine hesitant in Alberta – fr

This column is an opinion of data scientist John Santos. For more information on Section Opinion de CBC, please see the FAQ.
The day Alberta expanded vaccine eligibility to over 30s, more than 100,000 people sign. This is good news that the province badly needs with highest number of COVID-19 cases per capita in North America. And yet, the latest poll from CBC Calgary: The Road Ahead shows that 20% of Albertans have adopted a wait-and-see approach vaccination, and 14% said they refused to be vaccinated.

While it is difficult to explain exactly why an individual is reluctant to vaccinate, there are clear trends with regard to vaccine reluctance. And these diagrams show just how politicized the COVID-19 pandemic has become.

But before examining these trends, an important point about methodology is in order. Most survey companies report a series of two-by-two tables (commonly referred to as crosstabs or pivot tables) to show the relationship between one variable and another.

This type of analysis often reveals many interesting patterns. But, he struggles to isolate which of these models are the “real model” (the signal) and which are spurious (noise).

Separate signal from noise

For example, feelings of anti-COVID restriction and reluctance to vaccination appear to be most important in rural Alberta. Elsewhere, political attitudes have been linked to reluctance to immunize in both academic research and in the press. The problem is, people in rural areas tend to be more conservative than city dwellers, so this has more of an impact on attitudes towards vaccines – where do they live or what are their values?

To solve this problem, I use a method called regression analysis that allows us to examine the relationship between an outcome of interest (vaccine hesitancy) and a factor that might be predictive of that outcome (region, education, intention vote, etc.) while controlling the effect of all other factors.

This figure below shows the results of a model predicting vaccine reluctance using region, gender, age, education, income, employment status, having received a COVID-benefit. 19, economic conservatism, populism, self-placement on the left-right political spectrum, and signaled the intention to vote.

The most important factor is populism, which we measure using a scale made up of four categories: trusting down-to-earth people rather than experts; prefer strong leadership to debate and deliberation; support for an increased use of referendums and plebiscites; and believing politicians quickly lose contact with the people after their election.

Someone who strongly agrees with all of them has a 50/50 chance of being reluctant to immunize, while someone who strongly disagrees with each has only an 8% chance. Another way to understand this is that the most populist Albertans are, on average, 6.25 times more likely to be vaccine reluctant than the less populist Albertans, all other things being equal.

Where someone sees themselves on the left-right political spectrum, that matters too. Albertans furthest to the right are 43 percent likely to be vaccine reluctant, while Albertans farthest to the left are only 17 percent likely.

Education matters

Another interesting finding is that education matters more than the choice of voting. By this I mean that the difference in the likelihood of vaccine hesitation between those with the highest and lowest levels of education (21 percentage points) is greater than the difference in likelihood between supporters of various parties (around 10 percentage points).

Finally, although not shown here, there is no relationship between having economically conservative values ​​and reluctance to vaccinate once we control for other factors. By “economic conservatism” I mean a general preference for lower levels of market regulation and government intervention.

We measure this with two questions: whether it believes that job creation should be left to the private sector and whether it believes in the spinoff economy. While those who strongly agree with both are five percentage points more likely to be reluctant to immunize than those who strongly disagree with both (33% vs. 28%), we cannot be sure that this difference is statistically distinguished from zero.

What does that mean?

These results show a subtlety in the relationship between political orientation and vaccine attitudes that is often lost in public discourse.

Much media has spilled over higher rates of vaccine hesitancy and COVID skepticism on the right. But while these empirical models are readily observable, what this more nuanced analysis suggests is that it is not “conservatism” in its economic form that is at the root of vaccine resistance. If this were the case, we would not see prominent conservatives assignment Photos of themselves receiving their COVID-19 vaccine.

On the contrary, the factors which are really important include populism (which can occur both left and right side of the political spectrum) and left-right ideology in a summary or symbolic meaning. This form of ideology has less to do with the substance of what you believe in and more to do with where you see yourself and how others “fit” into the political world.

These findings echo previous research that found overturned popular assumptions that before COVID, those worried about vaccines were a bunch of left-wing hippies. And, there is a larger body of research that shows that skewed processing of information is just as widespread on the left as on the right.

If vaccines are the way out of the pandemic, then as a society we will need to convince as many people as possible that they are safe and effective. The good news is that vaccines are actually an issue where there is a lot of commonality between the left and the right. But those who find themselves on the borderline between acceptance and reluctance – many of whom are likely moderately populist conservatives – might need a slight nudge to get them to do the right thing for the collective good. .

It is probably impossible to convince full-fledged vaccine refusals. But, it might be possible to reach the gatekeepers, if they are not demonized by exasperated and stereotypical progressives and lumped together with the ultra-populists refusing the vaccine (and refusing COVID).

This random CBC News survey of 1,200 Albertans was conducted between March 15 and April 10, 2021 by Trend Research of Edmonton under the direction of Recherche d’opinion Janet Brown. The sample is representative according to regional, age and sex factors. The margin of error is +/- 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. For subsets, the margin of error is greater.

The survey used a hybrid methodology that involved contacting respondents by phone and giving them the option to complete the survey at that time, another more convenient time, or receive a link via email and complete the online survey.


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