Who are the most hesitant Quebecers to get vaccinated? – fr

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Who are the most hesitant Quebecers to get vaccinated? – fr


Fear of negative side effects as well as general mistrust of vaccines are the two main reasons cited by those who are reluctant.

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For Quebec to reach the vaccination rate of around 80% that health authorities deem necessary to suppress COVID-19, it must find a way to convince a quarter of the population still reluctant to be vaccinated.

Regular surveys carried out since the start of the pandemic show that the number of people hesitant to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has remained stable at 25%, with 8% considered extremely reluctant.

Among the most hesitant are those in the 25-44 age group, many of whom say they do not feel at risk of contracting the disease.

The fear of negative side effects as well as a general mistrust of vaccines are the two main reasons given, said medical anthropologist Ève Dubé, researcher in the scientific group on immunization at the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec. (INSPQ). Reluctance to immunize is evenly distributed between women and men. Quebeckers are less likely than most of their provincial counterparts to be reluctant, perhaps because there is greater confidence in health officials here, Dubé said.

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Those with a higher level of education are less hesitant, as are those who live in large urban centers, according to surveys, in part because residents of more remote areas have been less exposed to the disease.

Health officials have expressed relief that the vaccination problem is much less politicized in Canada than in the United States, where a recent NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll found that 49% of Republican men do not plan to get it. vaccinate.

Hope also lies in the fact that vaccination rates increase as people see their numbers increasing around them.

“No one wants to be the first to get the vaccine, or be part of the first group to get the vaccine. It’s normal, ”Dubé said. “The more people around us get vaccinated, the people we know, the people we love, it can change our intentions.”

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This development was illustrated by a survey of 2,000 Canadians which found that the use of masks throughout the pandemic had increased dramatically as authorities returned to use them. Among the 16% who said they never wear a mask, the number fell to 1% in December, when the use became widespread.

“People are social animals,” said Roxane de la Sablonnière, professor of psychology at the University of Montreal and principal investigator of the study which will be released next week. “They tend to follow social norms.”

Those who opposed wearing masks were also likely to resist the vaccination, according to the study. Most respondents cited “restrictions on their freedoms” as the main reason for their dissent.

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A study carried out in 2014 by the University of Sherbrooke among 8,700 respondents from the Eastern Townships revealed an increasing reluctance to vaccinate, one in three hesitating to be vaccinated or to administer them to their children. . Thirteen percent said they were very reluctant to vaccinate, 19 percent somewhat. Reasons given included the belief that children receive too many vaccines, that a healthy lifestyle can eliminate the need, and the use of alternative medicine compensates for the need for vaccination.

Factors associated with reluctance included not getting a flu shot, having low or moderate income, and mistrust of public health officials.

Tackling vaccine reluctance is complicated by the fact that the reasons behind it are so diverse that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. Health Minister Christian Dubé said at the end of April that a coercive policy of forcing the 35% of health workers who had not yet been vaccinated to undergo three COVID-19 tests per week was having an effect. Governments, including Quebec, suggest that outings like restaurants or concerts will not be possible without some level of vaccination.

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Providing easier access to low-income workers reluctant to take time off work, as Montreal recently did at Parc-Extension, can do a lot to overcome hesitation, Dubé noted. Surveys show that young people who may not be afraid of contracting the disease themselves are very concerned about passing it on to the most vulnerable, which could be a target for information campaigns.

Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh, professor of immunology at the University of Montreal and pediatrician at Ste-Justine’s Hospital, said staff told her he was hesitant because she was pregnant or because she was pregnant. had family in other countries that these people do not get vaccinated there.

The most effective approach she has found is to listen carefully and try to calmly answer people’s questions.

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“You can’t just say, ‘Oh, you’re an idiot, why don’t you get the shot? ” ” she said.

In a pilot project in Quebec, teams of “motivational interviewers” ​​were sent to talk to parents of newborns in hospitals. For those who are reluctant to get vaccinated, interviewers answer their questions without being judgmental. The project has had good results, said Quach-Thanh.

But it can take a long time. A woman told her that she got the vaccine three months after Quach-Thanh spoke to her, and now she convinces others.

“That little drop becomes a bigger drop and eventually it makes a lake and ultimately an ocean that I think we need to aim for,” she said. “Because people have very different views on things and you really have to tailor your response to their anxiety and fear to really be able to deal with it.”

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