As Canada moves towards a second summer of lockdown, all eyes are on the vaccines and their deployment. There are millions of vaccines potentially ready to be delivered, but some vaccine versions, such as the Johnson and Johnson brand, are still under review. More alarmingly, many provinces are looking to ban certain brands of vaccine over fear of side effects, when these vaccines may be needed more than ever. Even as Canada looks to nations like the US to deliver vaccines, it is still taking the time to deliver equipment such as ventilators to those who need it most, such as towards the worsening situation in India.
As of today, Canada stands at roughly 1.33 Million cases of COVID-19, with about 1.23 recoveries and close to 25,000 deaths. As the deaths last week were closer to 24,000, it is plain to see just how serious COVID-19 remains as a public health threat.
Ontario has seen over 2,000 cases today - severe, but a step down from the period where there were over 3,000 cases being reported in a day. Despite this, there is still concern that Ontario is not vaccinating fast enough to prepare for the spread of variants. Quebec meanwhile is setting records for vaccination, even pushing through to targeting those under the age of 30. This vaccination push is showing real results, with under 1000 cases of COVID today, as vaccination doses given top 4 million.
In British Columbia daily cases drop below 500, with more than 50% of the adult population being vaccinated - there are, however, concerns regarding the system used to sign up for vaccines. Alberta, conversely, has topped 1000 cases today. Despite this, health care workers are facing increasing hostility in the province, with a mayoral candidate even threatening armed violence against them.
Saskatchewan has broken its own vaccination records, as it records under 200 cases today. The province is confident enough to declare that it is going to buck the federal advice on coming out of lockdown, if its vaccination program continues to be successful. Manitoba, meanwhile, has reported over twice the cases of Saskatchewan. In response, more school districts are moving into remote learning in the province.
In Nova Scotia there were 86 cases of COVID reported yesterday, which is about half of the cases reported the same time the previous week. Still, police had to arrest people taking part in illegal gatherings in the province. New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador all continued to report under 10 new cases of COVID yesterday.
Canada has provided over 18 million doses of vaccine, with over 1.4 million Canadians being fully vaccinated. There are talks of large amounts of vaccines being delivered throughout the remainder of May and June. This could make a huge impact on the spread of COVID-19, but time is of the essence. In many ways, it comes down to a race between mass vaccinations, and the development of new variants. It is still vital that Canadians maintain proper social distancing and mask wearing, to take us through the vaccination process.