Survey shows that black Canadians are more likely to be hesitant about COVID-19 vaccine
Black Canadian leaders said the government must take more steps to help overcome the community’s hesitation about vaccines.
Dr. Ato Sekyi-Otu, a plastic surgeon in Toronto who is the head of the Black Opportunity Fund’s healthcare working group, said a new investigation confirmed undisclosed public health data that black Canadians are more resistant to vaccines than white or non-black racialized populations. The hesitation is high.
“Compared with the Canadian average, the vaccination rate for black Canadians is 20 percentage points behind,” Sekyi-Otu said in an interview. “When you see the confidence of a vaccine, black Canadians who have not been vaccinated are least likely to say that they will definitely be vaccinated.”
Sekyi-Otu said that the Black Opportunity Fund worked with the African-Canadian Citizen Participation Committee and the Innovation Research Group to try to understand why the number of black Canadians vaccinated seems to be low.
The survey It was found that as of early June, when more than 60% of Canadians had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 45% of Canadian blacks surveyed said they were at least partially vaccinated, compared with 65% of whites. Canadians and 43% of non-blacks can see minorities.
Sixty percent of the black Canadians surveyed did not receive at least one dose of the vaccine, and they expressed a certain degree of hesitation about vaccination. In contrast, 55% of Canadian whites and 44% of non-blacks have visible minorities.
Figures match with Toronto’s vaccination data
These numbers are consistent with Toronto’s vaccination data, where the communities with the lowest vaccination rates also have some of the largest black populations.
Dunia Nur, chairman of the African-Canadian citizen participation consultant based in Edmonton, said that to solve the problem of hesitation in the black community, the government needs to make “various policy changes”, which must take into account language needs. And the difference in education and socioeconomic gap.
Nur said in a statement: “These include strategies that invest in partnerships with black leaders and black-focused community organizations to address the COVID-19 vaccine knowledge gap and related trust barriers.”
If the black Canadians surveyed trust their health care providers and vaccine manufacturers, they can enjoy paid time off for vaccinations, and are confident about where and how they are vaccinated, then they are less likely to hesitate about vaccines.
“When we talk about hesitation, we are talking about ABC,” Sekyi-Otu said. “I’m talking about acquisition, belief, and confidence.”
He said that when black Canadians are more likely to work in jobs that are difficult or impossible to spare paid time to get vaccinated, access will be affected. If you don’t trust the person who provides information about the vaccine, your confidence in the vaccine will be weakened. When people’s trust in the health care system is low, the information on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine varies. Confidence in the effectiveness of the vaccine will be compromised.
“It’s no surprise that if someone has had a bad experience in an institution, such as criminal justice, when he or she is 19 years old, he or she may not want to be vaccinated in 2021 when he or she is 45 years old. ,” he Say.
Sekyi-Oto said the government needs to ensure that people can take time off for vaccination and take immediate steps to provide culturally sensitive and appropriate vaccination and education in black communities.
“You have to build a system so that the people who lead the system look like the people who use the system,” he said. “Therefore, we want to create a culturally sensitive system to interact with the community so that they can get vaccinated.”
More than 2,830 Canadians were surveyed
The survey came as new data reported by the Public Health Agency of Canada showed that in the first eight months of the pandemic, COVID-19 mortality rates were highest in communities with lower incomes and larger minority populations.
The data is the agency’s latest report and outlines the inequality surrounding COVID-19 in Canada.
More than 2,830 Canadians responded to the survey, including more than 500 Canadian blacks. The survey organizer stated that the sample size is weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the Canadian population.
CBC cannot accurately calculate the margin of error for online surveys. For comparison purposes only, the margin of error for a probability sample of this size is +/- 2%, 19 out of 20.
For more stories about the experience of black Canadians—from anti-black racism to success stories in the black community—check out Becoming Black in Canada, a CBC project that Canadian blacks can be proud of. You can read more stories here.