Optimity 2020 COVID-19 Vaccine Survey Finds That 59% of Canadians are Concerned About Side Effects from the Vaccine

Insights from Optimity app user survey finds that 43% believe the COVID-19 vaccine should be mandatory, while 53% believe that Canadians should have a choice of which vaccine to receive.

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TORONTO – December 30, 2020 – Optimity Inc., a mission-driven technology company focused on improving population health, today unveiled results from the 2020 COVID-19 Vaccine Survey of Optimity app users. The survey was completed by 30,054 Canadian Optimity users across Canada to uncover insights on COVID-19 vaccine knowledge, views on COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer, as well as attitudes and behaviours around receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. 

Among the topics addressed in the survey was consumer concern about possible long-term and short-term side effects from the vaccine. This was a concern noted by 59% of respondents, while just over a quarter (26%) had no concerns. Despite these concerns, 63% plan to get the vaccine, compared to 22% that are undecided, and 11% that are not planning to get the vaccine. Of those not planning to get the vaccine, 41% cited insufficient research as the reason for their decision, while 9% have a pre-existing condition that would prevent them from getting the vaccine, and 9% have had allergic reactions to other vaccines. 

While 43% of survey respondents believe that all Canadians should be required to take the vaccine, 29% do not believe it should be mandatory. Asked if Canadians should be given a choice of vaccine based on manufacturer, 53% believe that they should be able to choose which vaccine they receive. This compares to 17% who didn’t think Canadians should be given a choice of vaccine manufacturer, and 30% who were undecided. If given the choice of COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer, 20% selected Pfizer–BioNTech, while 16% selected Moderna; 37% did not indicate a preference. The primary reason cited for selecting a particular manufacturer was that Canada had approved the vaccine (24%).

“The insights from our COVID-19 vaccine survey reinforce the need for ongoing consumer education around the vaccine,” says Jane Wang, founder and CEO of Optimity Inc. “With so many Canadians still on the fence about taking the vaccine, their ultimate decision can be informed through education by the Canadian government and other healthcare organizations on the safety of the COVID vaccines, what it takes to achieve herd immunity, and other related key topics.”

Through its app, Optimity captures valuable, anonymized insights on consumer sentiment on a variety of topics. The 2020 COVID-19 Vaccine Survey is the second survey published by Optimity, and it comes on the heels of the Optimity 2020 Canadian Flu Survey, which was published on December 8, 2020 and features insights from 22,465 respondents from across the country. 


The Optimity 2020 COVID-19 Vaccine Survey was conducted in the Optimity app from December 20 to December 27, 2020. The survey was completed by 30,054 Canadian Optimity users across Canada, with survey participants ranging in age from 15 years to over 65. A sample of this size has a confidence interval of ± 0.70 per cent.

About Optimity

Optimity is a mission-driven technology company that uses evidence-based behavioural science and gamification to improve population health. The company’s health and wellness solutions for enterprise and consumer markets are developed by leading health experts and backed by more than 30 years of behavioural science research. Optimity Enterprise, the company’s B2B solution, engages large populations in staying healthy and is used by employers and insurance companies in Canada, the U.S., and Japan to drive better health outcomes and longevity for employees and policyholders. The Optimity consumer app (formerly Carrot Rewards) rewards users for walking and completing short educational quizzes focused on the body, mind, and finances. Optimity partners with popular consumer loyalty brands, enabling points (gems) earned in its enterprise and consumer apps to be redeemed towards grocery, travel, and lifestyle rewards. With a reach of over one million Canadians, Optimity is the most popular and trusted health rewards program in the country. For additional information, visit myoptimity.com.

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