Canadians Underestimate the Risk of Contracting Shingles

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kirkland, QC – Newly released research conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Merck reveals that 94% of Canadians think shingles is painful but only 34% know that a preventive vaccine exists.

Survey highlights include the following:

  • 90% of Canadians think that the risk of contracting shingles is less than 1-in-10.
  • Western Canadians are the most familiar with shingles:
    • 90% of people in Alberta and 80% of people in BC report being either very or somewhat familiar with shingles;
    • Quebec (38%) and Ontario (69%) residents reported lower familiarity levels.
  • Awareness of a vaccine to prevent shingles is also higher amongst Western Canadians:
    • 58% in Alberta
    • 45% in BC
    • 36% in Ontario
    • 17% in Quebec
  • Almost two-thirds of Canadians (63%) think shingles is very painful.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted in June 2012 on behalf of Merck. For this survey, a national sample of 1,000 Canadian residents from Ipsos' Canadian online panel were interviewed online. Weighting was then employed on the sample to balance demographics and ensure that its composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

David Ouellet
Associate Vice President
Ipsos Reid

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

To learn more, please visit

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,363 billion (1.897 billion USD) in 2011.

Visit to learn more about Ipsos’ offerings and capabilities.

Canadians Underestimate the Risk of Contracting Shingles


David Ouellet
Vice President / Vice-président, Canada
Ipsos Marketing
+1 514 904 4322