In both Canada and the United States, whether unvaccinated people should have the same freedoms as those who have received their COVID-19 vaccines is becoming an increasingly controversial topic. We chose to explore this subject in one of our North American Trackers.
According to Our World in Data, 52.6% of the Canadian population was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of July 22. As of the same date, the United States was not far behind, with 49.3% of its population fully vaccinated.
THE DEBATE: SHOULD UNVACCINATED PEOPLE HAVE THE SAME FREEDOMS AS THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO GET VACCINATED?
The topic of vaccination itself, whether COVID-19-related or not, can be quite controversial.
When it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, people tend to fall into a few different camps. On the one hand, some argue that it should be mandatory for everyone to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Others may say that although vaccination should not be mandatory, it is the morally right thing to do to protect oneself and others. On the other hand, some feel that vaccination is a highly personal choice, while others argue that mandating vaccination infringes on people’s rights and freedoms. What do you think?
In the July 20 edition of our North American Tracker, we asked Canadians and Americans several questions about vaccination, travel, and participating in activities.
CANADIANS (66%) ARE MORE LIKELY THAN AMERICANS (41%) TO FEEL THAT THOSE WHO GET VACCINATED SHOULD HAVE GREATER FREEDOMS THAN THOSE WHO DO NOT.
Canadians aged 55 or older (76%) and Americans aged 55 or older (48%) are more likely to think those who get vaccinated should have greater freedoms. In Canada, Quebecers (72%) are more likely than those in all the other provinces to feel this way.
On the other hand, 26% of Canadians and 45% of Americans feel it is unfair to place restrictions on people just because they choose not to be vaccinated. In Canada, Albertans (41%) are more likely than residents of all other provinces to say so.
SPEAKING OF FREEDOMS, 66% OF CANADIANS AND 46% OF AMERICANS THINK THAT TO ENTER THEIR COUNTRY FROM THE UNITED STATES (AMONG CANADIANS) OR FROM CANADA (AMONG AMERICANS), TRAVELLERS SHOULD NEED TO BE FULLY VACCINATED (TWO DOSES).
Canadians aged 65 or older (76%) are more likely than those in all other age groups to feel this way, as are Americans aged 65 or older (55%).
IN GENERAL, CANADIANS AND AMERICANS* WOULD BE MOST COMFORTABLE PARTICIPATING IN OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES, GOING TO WORK AND/OR GATHERINGS WITH THEIR FRIENDS/FAMILY KNOWING UNVACCINATED PEOPLE MAY BE PRESENT.
*Among those who normally participate in each activity
Canadians are least comfortable going to the gym (38%), flying on an airplane (37%) and/or partying in a bar/pub or nightclub (32%) knowing unvaccinated people may be present. Americans are least comfortable flying on an airplane (51%), attending indoor shows or sporting events (50%), and/or partying in a bar/pub or nightclub (46%).
Among Canadians, some interesting regional differences emerge. Albertans (range of 51% to 81%) are more likely than Canadians who reside in other provinces to feel comfortable participating in each activity mentioned knowing unvaccinated people may be present. Canadians aged 55 or older are less likely than those aged 18-54 to feel comfortable participating in each activity.