Canada's Roadmap for Vaccinations


Ever since the Coronavirus has proven itself to be a deadly global pandemic, discussions about vaccinations have been prominent. Health professionals and scientists have quickly made it their mission to develop safe and effective vaccines that provide immunity to the virus in order to prevent further deaths and eventually bring the virus to a halt. However, as it is to be expected, such medical developments take time...

So, while the first effective vaccines in Canada were already administered in December 2020, the vaccine roll-out was only minimal at first and took months to really take off. Due to the limited amount of available vaccines, a careful plan for the administration of vaccines needed to be carried out, starting with prioritizing essential workers and the vulnerable population, and moving forward with higher risk age groups to lower risk age groups. Following this plan, the goal was to have the majority of the population vaccinated by the summer of 2021. 

Three months into the roll-out of vaccines, however, only 1.5% of the entire Canadian population was fully vaccinated and less than 5% had at least one dose. The numbers up to that point remained rather steady and only started significantly growing within the month of March. It is to note, though, that the ‘exponential’ growth is only noticeably steep for the partially vaccinated (approx. 50% today), whereas the numbers of fully vaccinated people stayed low (approx. 4.6% today).

The drastic changes that can be seen between March and May/ June are clear indicators of the successful change in the approach of the vaccine administration. In the beginning, the focus lied on having people fully vaccinated. But because there are weeks to be left in between the two mandatory doses, the vaccinations could not be administered efficiently enough for many people to receive their vaccines simultaneously.

Given that the goal was to have most people vaccinated by mid-year and the government has already been met with intense pressure by the population, the tactics needed to be reevaluated. Therefore, upon thorough review of the effects of the present vaccines, the decision was made to prioritize having as many people as possible receive their first dose instead of having people fully vaccinated one after the other. 

Evidently, this approach allowed half the Canadian population to have received their vaccine within only three months, and with their second dose appointed to four months in the future. Determined to continue at this pace, Canada is expecting to have the full population partially vaccinated by the month of July. And by the end of the year, half of the population is expected to be fully vaccinated. 

This momentous success, which is not only proven by the numbers but especially by the continuously lifted restrictions (i.e. curfews, restaurant closures, etc.), is giving the nation a lot of hope. Now it seems the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter after all and Canadians are blossoming in time to enjoy the summer. 

In celebration of our successes thus far and in the spirit of making further progress, let’s make sure to keep staying safe by wearing our masks, washing our hands, and keeping a safe distance. It is finally showing that our collective efforts are paying off, so let’s keep it up! 

 

Sources: 

https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/vaccination-coverage/

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/a-snapshot-of-canada-s-progress-in-administering-covid-19-vaccines-1.5444007

https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/world/covid-vaccinations-tracker.html