Changing attitudes to vaccination post-COVID suggest investing in our own health is a key priority for many Canadians
- 3 in 4 people (including 81% women) now regard personal health and wellbeing as very important, up from 2 in 3 before COVID.
- Global survey shows Canadian adults over age 50 perceive good health as more important for quality of life than financial security
- 8 in 10 people have greater understanding of the benefits of vaccination as a means of self-protection
Mississauga, ON – A GSK sponsored survey of people aged 50 and older into perceptions of adult vaccination and its role in health and wellbeing showed attitudes have changed following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. When asked to rank in terms of importance for quality of life over the next ten years, more people in Canada and around the world now value good health (96%) over financial security (40%)
Results revealed that the proportion of older adults in Canada who found personal health, wellbeing and independence to be very important increased following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before COVID-19, 65% of respondents described these as important, which increased to 72% since the pandemic began. The survey also revealed that women across all the countries surveyed are more likely to rate health and wellbeing as very important in the post-pandemic world (81%).
A strong majority (70% or higher) of all participants surveyed say they would continue wearing a mask in public and maintain social distancing practices when ill. In Canada, 74% thought the use of masks in public should continue and 81% thought social distancing measures should stay. The increased awareness of the value of good health was reflected in the study results, which showed that 78% of adults in Canada thought that keeping up to date with their vaccinations and boosters was important.
Marni Freeman, Country Medical Director at GSK Canada said:
“It is expected that by 2030, the number of people aged 60 years and older will increase by more than a third, to 1.4 billion people worldwide. Through the pandemic, vaccination rates have declined and if adult vaccination coverage rates don’t improve, we could see an increase in illness and death caused by vaccine preventable diseases. There’s no question, the pandemic has created an opportunity for Canadians to have conversations with their healthcare providers about their overall health and how they can help themselves stay healthy into older age. This survey is encouraging as it shows a change in perception happening that could support healthier populations in the long-term as awareness of preventative measures, such as routine vaccination is increasing.”
Eight in 10 respondents in the Global survey reported receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, with the same number also reporting to now have a better understanding of the benefits of vaccination in general.
91% of survey respondents in Canada stated that self-protection was the main reason they wanted to stay on top of their vaccinations. The biggest barrier to vaccine uptake was lack of information. People surveyed in Canada supported a call for better and clearer information on which vaccines are needed and why they are recommended.
About the survey – In total, 16,000 people were surveyed from eight countries (Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Brazil, USA, Canada and Japan) and aimed to understand the role that vaccination plays in the health and wellbeing among people age 50 and up. 2,000 people over the age of 50 years old were surveyed in each country. The survey was conducted online during July and August 2021.
GSK is a science-led global healthcare company. For further information please visit www.gsk.ca.
 WHO. Plan for the Decade of Healthy Aging (PDF - 569 KB)