Transition to endemic: Acceptance of additional COVID-19 vaccine doses among Canadian adults in a national cross-sectional survey

Additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been proposed as solutions to waning immunity and decreased effectiveness of primary doses against infection with new SARS-CoV-2 variants. However, the effectiveness of additional vaccine doses relies on widespread population acceptance. We aimed to assess the acceptance of additional COVID-19 vaccine doses (third and annual doses) among Canadian adults and determine associated factors.

We conducted a national, cross-sectional online survey among Canadian adults from October 14 to November 12, 2021. Weighted multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to identify sociodemographic and health-related factors associated with third and annual dose acceptance and indecision, compared to refusal. We also assessed influences on vaccine decision-making, and preferences for future vaccine delivery.

Of 6010 respondents, 70% reported they would accept a third dose, while 15.2% were undecided. For annual doses, 64% reported acceptance, while 17.5% were undecided. Factors associated with third dose acceptance and indecision were similar to those associated with annual dose acceptance and indecision. Previous COVID-19 vaccine receipt, no history of COVID-19 disease, intention to receive an influenza vaccine, and increasing age were strongly associated with both acceptance and indecision. Chronic illness was associated with higher odds of acceptance, while self-reported disability was associated with higher odds of being undecided. Higher education attainment and higher income were associated with higher odds of accepting additional doses. Minority first language was associated with being undecided about additional doses, while visible minority identity was associated with being undecided about a third dose and refusing an annual dose. All respondents reported government recommendations were an important influence on their decision-making and identified pharmacy-based delivery and drop-in appointments as desirable. Co-administration of COVID-19 and influenza vaccines was viewed positively by 75.5% of the dose 3 acceptance group, 12.3% of the undecided group, and 8.4% of the refusal group.

To increase acceptance, targeted interventions among visible minority and minority language populations, and those with a disability, are required. Offering vaccination at pharmacies and through drop-in appointments are important to facilitate uptake, while offering COVID-19/influenza vaccine co-administration may have little benefit among those undecided about additional doses.

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Reifferscheid L, Lee JSW, MacDonald NE, Sadarangani M, Assi A, Lemaire-Paquette S, MacDonald SE

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