toronto vaccination rate

30% of unvaccinated Toronto residents would change their minds for $100

As of this week, 77.6 per cent of Torontonians aged 12 and up are fully vaccinated, with 83.6 per cent of eligible residents now having received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

This is excellent news as far as availability and distribution (once huge problems for the city) are concerned: More than 4.6 million doses have now been administered in Toronto alone, and there are plenty more waiting in the wings — enough to inoculate everyone in town, if that's what everyone wanted.

And yet, hundreds of thousands of the estimated 2.9 million people who call Toronto home have yet to be immunized. This makes sense for kids and people with legitimate conditions prohibiting them from getting vaxxed, but what about everyone else?

Some of them are coming around thanks to the provincial government's confirmation of a vaccine passport program, which is set to take effect on September 22 and will mandate that patrons show proof-of-immunization documents to enter a whole host of private "high risk" settings such as bars, restaurants and cinemas.

According to the City of Toronto, there has been an 18 per cent increase in first dose vaccinations administered to Toronto residents since Aug. 31, when Premier Doug Ford officially announced the forthcoming passports.

Both the city's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore, however, maintain that 90 per cent of residents need to be vaccinated to adequately protect the rest of the population.

"Approximately 336,000 Torontonians require vaccination to reach the 90 per cent target. Of those, 164,000 have already received their first dose," reads a release issued by the city on Wednesday following a COVID-19 update press conference. "Vaccination is important because vaccines lower risks of severe illness, hospitalization and death."

So how do we get there? Toronto Public Health recently commissioned Ipsos to conduct a survey and find out.

Administered online between July 30 and Aug. 10 of 2021, the survey polled 1,203 Toronto residents with quota targets in place to obtain a representative sample of all residents. The percentage of those vaccinated was found to be 81 per cent.

About 14 per cent of unvaccinated respondents were deemed "vaccine hesitant," with six per cent indicating that "they will definitely not receive a COVID-19 vaccine."

When asked what might get them to change their minds, 37 per cent of the unvaccinated Torontonians polled said they'd be more inclined if vaccines were mandatory for travel. Thirty-four per cent said the same in regards to work.

Roughly 30 per cent of this same group said they'd take the jab for a cool hundo (read: a $100 payout). It is unknown if these groups overlap or if any of these people who'd get a vaccine for $100 are the same people screaming at sub shop employees over mask rules or harassing diners on patios with signs about 5G and sheep.

You can see the full survey findings here, and should know that there's actually some good news to be found: Since the last time Toronto residents were surveyed in March, vaccine hesitancy appears to have dropped by about seven per cent.

Hey, it's progress, and this stuff is important.

"COVID-19 continues to circulate in Toronto, and vaccines are the best protection against the virus and the way forward out of the pandemic," reads the city's release as issued Wednesday.

"Given the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the community, residents are urged to begin their vaccination, if they have not already done so, or get their second vaccine dose as soon as possible. Torontonians are also asked to continue following public health measures, including staying home when sick, practising physical distancing and wearing a mask when physical distancing is not possible."

Lead photo by

Stephen Gardiner

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