In just a few months, Canada has gone from being a vaccine laggard to being a world leader in immunization against COVID-19-thanks to an ambitious vaccination campaign that has so far slowed its toxicity Propagation of stronger delta variants.
More than 79% of eligible people have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Although this is a high number, it shows that there are still more than 6 million people over 12 who choose to give up the injection altogether or wait for a later date.
The number of unvaccinated Canada is roughly equivalent to the total number of people living in the Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Quebec City metropolitan areas.
Experts agree that more people need to be vaccinated to avoid the devastating consequences of another pandemic. Experts say the challenge now is to relax access and persuade the hesitant among us to roll up our sleeves.
After the blitz in April and May, the number of new first doses of vaccine administered every day since June 16 has stagnated well below 100,000. This means that it will take several months to immunize the remaining vaccines at the current rate.
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Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, recently stated that the vaccination campaign has achieved impressive results. But, she said, when the more contagious delta variant (which appears to be twice as virulent as other strains) spreads widely, it is not enough to reach the government’s earlier target of 75% of the eligible population with just one shot.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the doctor who led the fight against COVID-19 in the United States, was one of the first to propose that “herd immunity” against the virus would develop with a vaccination rate of 75% to 80%. New variants may have made this target obsolete.
“Should we pursue higher goals? Yes, I think we should. Pursue higher, pursue gold, and pursue stars. This provides us with a better buffer for managing the COVID-19 situation,” Tam said.
“We have some work to do,” Tam’s deputy, Dr. Howard Njoo, said at a press conference on Thursday. “I think we can obviously do better.”
Watch: Dr. Njoo discusses COVID-19 booster injections
Caroline Colijn is a mathematician who specializes in infectious diseases at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia
Colin told CBC News that it is difficult to determine an exact vaccination rate, which will make it safer for Canada to further relax restrictions related to the pandemic-but it should be higher than it is now.
Colijn quoted some models from her and her research team as saying that more gun battles could mean the difference between the fourth wave of pandemic — such as the continuous surge of new cases in the UK and the Netherlands — and no wave at all. The difference is compiled.
“There is a lot of uncertainty, I don’t think we have a number to say,’Oh, well, it’s 82%, that’s it, that’s enough, we won’t be infected with the new crown virus anymore,'” she said. “But we do know that 90% will give us better protection than 80%, because it can halve the number of people who are not protected at all.”
Colijn said that with 90% protection, the number of cases and the chance of new mutations will be reduced because there will not be so many unvaccinated viral vectors.
“I won’t say that we will be smooth sailing. We don’t know how much immunity will decrease over time, hope not. But I think it will put us in a very advantageous position,” she said. “We can say with confidence that we will be in a 90% better position. We will cut off these transmission chains, and we will be more resilient to the arrival, spread or emergence of new variants.”
The widespread infection among millions of unvaccinated Canadians may be enough to overwhelm the healthcare system again. The new variants may also penetrate the high level of protection currently enjoyed by fully vaccinated people.
“When we start to see mutations that can break through vaccination, it is more important for us to truly achieve a high level of vaccination. You only need more vaccinations to get to the same place,” Colin said.
The model released by the federal government at the end of last month indicates that if vaccine coverage for all age groups reaches or falls below 80%, and infectious delta variants are the main strain, hospital capacity may reach dangerous levels again in the fall and winter. .
In the United Kingdom, 87.6% of adults received the first shot, and the number of hospitalizations increased to the highest level since February. 600 people are admitted every day and 50,000 new cases are reported every day—most of which are delta type. England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, said on Friday that the number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus could reach “very scary” levels within a few weeks.
“The biggest problem in rural areas”
In Ontario, vaccines have been relatively adequate in most areas of the province for several weeks, and vaccination coverage rates vary by region and age.
Although the vaccination rate for Canadian elderly is very high, in many jurisdictions, 18-29 year olds are obviously reluctant.
For example, in the city of Ottawa, more than 90% of residents aged 70 and over have had at least one injection—the coverage rate is enviable. As of July 14, less than 70% of people aged 18 to 29 had the first dose.
In the vast rural village of Renfrew County in eastern Ontario, the vaccination campaign has encountered vaccine hesitation.
According to provincial data, earlier this month, some areas in the county reported a first-dose vaccination rate of only 50%, while the vaccination rate in urban areas such as Toronto and the suburbs of Peel was about 15 to 20 percentage points higher.
Renfrew County Health and Medical Officer Dr. Rob Cushman told CBC News that 90% to 95% of the injections in his jurisdiction in the past three weeks were the second dose, although only 72% of people in the area had received the first dose. (Cushman said the last number may be higher because the vaccinations of Canadian military service personnel have not yet been included in the local figures. There is a large military base in Petawawa, Ontario.)
“This is a big problem. Some of our rural areas have encountered the biggest problems,” Cushman said. “Among the 20 to 45-year-old people, these people who have not been vaccinated – they will suffer the most, they will get it, they will give it to their children. We really motivate them, even if they are still very Young, they may think they are invincible.”
Cushman said that the lower vaccination rate is partly due to rural residents’ access issues; he has plans to open temporary clinics in smaller communities in the next few days. But he estimated that, in any case, as many as 10% of the population would not get the injection.
“There is a real anti-vax crowd, you don’t trust government, liberalism, anti-science and all these things,” he said.
Cushman said that there is another group of people who are not strongly opposed to injections, but are worried about possible side effects, needle-related phobias, or lingering anxiety about the speed of development of these products.
He said that there is another view that because many rural areas do not have the high number of cases reported in some cities, Canadians in remote areas have a lower risk of infection.
“Compared to this city, we are doing very well, and people think we are more immune,” he said. “But what we see now-I didn’t know this three months ago-how high the vaccination rate needs to be to get herd immunity. This is a question that really convinces people, and it’s hard to sell??, let me tell you.”
According to reports, vaccination rates in other rural areas are lagging behind. A recent poll conducted by the Saskatchewan Population Health Assessment and Research Department found that certain areas in the northern and southern regions of the province had less than 64% of vaccine acceptance rates, while those in urban areas such as Regina and Saskatoon The acceptance rate is 74% to 89%.
In addition to small temporary clinics aimed at stubborn people, Cushman is also considering more personalized interventions—allowing public health workers to connect door-to-door with unvaccinated families and authorizing more family doctors to administer injections.
“This is the beginning of the trek,” he said.
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