Mental Health Research Canada has conducted poll number 4/13 in December 2020, researching the mental health of adult Canadians during COVID-19. The study found that both Manitoba and Saskatchewan reported the highest increase of depression (21%) and highest increase of anxiety (27%) and Alberta reported the second highest increase of depression (17%) and third highest increase of anxiety (22%) since the onset of COVID-19. Women, younger Canadians, healthcare workers, and parents with young children living in the home are reporting COVID-19 to have a greater impact on their mental health.
The report also gained knowledge of a relationship between vaccine hesitancy and mental illness. Canadian adults who reported high levels of anxiety or depression were also more likely to be reluctant about the COVID-19 vaccine (26% and 27% respectively). Additional data on vaccine hesitancy has shown that Indigenous and people of colour are also more hesitant of the COVID-19 vaccine due to a long lasting distrust of government institutions with a history of treating patients of colour unethically.
Dr. Upton Allen, chief of infectious diseases at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, has stressed that the COVID-19 vaccinations are indeed safe for all racial and ethnic groups. However, Allen also noted that doctors do not yet have enough data from clinical studies on children and youth under 16 years of age and the safety of the COVID-19 vaccinations. Allen did add, “It is important to remember though that until vaccines are approved for children, we can indeed help to protect children by vaccinating those who care for them.”
Throughout all of the opinions and research on COVID-19 vaccinations, the Mental Health Research Canada report has found that 75% of Canadians state they will be getting the vaccine. Additionally, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have been recorded as having the highest rate of compliance with COVID-19 restrictions, with 83% following government guidelines.