KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 — Canada is unlikely to achieve its aim of vaccinating the majority of its population against Covid-19 by the end of the third quarter this year.
Global News reported that poor planning and leadership has caused a delay in the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out in the country, as Canada is also using the Moderna vaccine, which is not necessarily stored under minus 70 degrees Celsius like the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to Kerry Bowman, a professor of bioethics and global health at the University of Toronto.
Canada fell behind Israel and the United States in the Covid-19 vaccination exercise race and will unlikely meet its vaccination targets this year.
As of January 2, Canada has only administered Covid-19 vaccines for 0.3 persons per 100 people, whereas the United States has vaccinated 1.28 persons for every 100 people. However, it is 12.59 persons per 100 people in Israel.
This shows that approximately only 0.3 per cent of people in Canada have received the first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. It is to be noted that Canada is using the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines which require a total of two doses.
“Canada is definitely having a slower start,” Bowman was quoted as saying.
“And each day and week goes by, we run the great risk of falling further and further behind.“
Geographically, Canada is much larger than the United Kingdom and Israel. This means that the country is facing different logistical challenges in vaccine distribution.
Yet, the vaccine roll-out is reportedly slower even in large urban cities in Canada like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
According Bowman, vaccines are not beneficial until they are injected into people.
A total of 42,419 people have already received the first shot of Covid-19 vaccine in Canada’s largest province, Ontario, with 5,000 people being vaccinated per day.
“It’s an utter failure when you have three-fourths of our vaccines still sitting inside of freezers,” biostatistician Ryan Imgrund, who works with Ottawa Public Health, was quoted as saying.
According to Imgrund, it will take eight years to complete the vaccination process in Ontario, which has 14.57 million people, if the current vaccination rate persists.
Previously, the country said that 58.34 percent or 8.5 million people in Ontario will be vaccinated by the end of June this year.
Ontario actually stopped the Covid-19 vaccination process during Christmas holidays due to shortages in health care professionals. However, the staff who were ready to spare their time to carry out vaccination exercises were not utilised completely.
“Existing infrastructure is not being used and you have people volunteering that haven’t been called. And so that’s very, very worrisome,” Bowman added.