1 in 5 eligible Canadians are not fully vaccinated despite pleas from medical experts
One in five eligible Canadians remain not fully vaccinated, despite pleas from medical experts.
Pharmacist Diane Harpell says it's important to help young adults, aged 18-40 years old, feel more comfortable about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
"When we think about flu seasons in the past, you don't see a lot of this age group generally coming in," she explains. "So maybe vaccines are something that they're not used to doing, just on an as-needed basis, and maybe we're not making it easy enough for them to get it."
According to the CTV Vaccine Tracker, 86 per cent of Canada's eligible population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, but that number hasn't changed all that much since the start of summer.
"I think that we need to make sure what we're doing is really talking about how easy and how little time it takes for folks to get these vaccines," Harpell adds. "It takes two seconds to sign up and get registered, especially now."
Appointments are easily accessible.
But some people still resist getting the COVID-19 jab, in spite of the medical community's repeated assurances that the vaccines are safe.
"The biggest is the fact that I know a lot of people that are getting really sick that have taken the vaccines, or have died that have taken the vaccine," says Halifax resident Dylan Allen. "You know, that to me is not okay."
"I've battled with some autoimmune issues for the past 15 years, and I have rheumatoid arthritis, I was able to overcome it naturally via diet," adds Halifax resident Morgan Guptill. "I'm not willing to risk going backwards in that progress at this point."
Don't dismiss the impact and role of social media when it comes to completing the vaccination roll-out, says digital anthropologist Giles Crouch.
"Two words come to mind: confirmation bias. So that's when we, and we all do this, and we do it subconsciously, it's when we look for information that supports our existing world view," he explains. "So, if you're hesitant about it the first thing you do is, you're probably going to search online or on social media is vaccine side effects or problems with vaccines."
Harpell says while she understands some people are hesitant, she encourages everyone to speak with a health-care provider about the benefits of receiving the vaccine.
"I do remember some of that age group coming in here having some fears of needles or some big questions of what this is going to mean or what this is going to look like, so interaction with this age group is hugely important," she explains.
Meanwhile, both Allen and Guptill say they'll continue to push for what they believe in.
Harpell says the more people that get vaccinated, the sooner can we can begin to experience some normalcy again.