(Island Health)

While the federal government has asserted that Canada is increasing its vaccination rollout each month, why does it still feel like we’re behind?

Simple answer: we are.

According to a poll from the National Post, Canada sits 42nd amongst countries with the most vaccinations.

As of this publication, Canada has vaccinated about 7 per cent of its population, whereas, Israel (1) has vaccinated 55 per cent and the US (9) has vaccinated 27 per cent of its population.

Why is Canada so far behind?

Among shipping delays and a shortage in the early stages of the vaccine rollout, simply put, Canada’s federal government put their eggs in the wrong basket.

Last year, the federal government signed an agreement with Chinese vaccine-maker CanSino for vaccine trials, which eventually fell apart.

Canada also invested in vaccines from European factories, said to be spurred by former President Trump’s remarks on giving Americans “first priority” and the potential the former President would implement export bans.

These factors, along with Canada lacking domestic production capacity for vaccines, have resulted in the nation playing proverbial catch up.

In early February this year, Canada announced a new vaccine manufacturing plant in Montreal that would likely only be able to produce vaccinations months after the majority of Canadians will have already received their shots.

Now that BC has implemented more restrictions, variants cases see a rise, and more young people are going into the hospital with severe COVID-19 cases, Canada is in a race to vaccinate.

How is BC doing?

As of this publication, BC has given 724,193 residents a vaccine in a population of about 5 million.

14.6 per cent of BC residents have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Among the provinces and territories, BC sits behind Ontario and Quebec who have vaccinated 14.8 per cent and 15.7 percent of their population, respectively.

In the Island Health region, 109,594 (12 per cent) of residents have been vaccinated in a population of about 870,297.

According to the provincial government, BC is entering Phase 3 of their vaccination rollout tomorrow, April 1st. 

Today, people 73 and older can book their appointments and, in a couple of weeks, those 65 and older will be eligible.

By July, Dr. Bonnie Henry said, anyone who wants a vaccine may have one.

Currently, BC has suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for those 55 and under until further review.

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