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Canada’s vaccination rates fall amidst pandemic

Dear Editor,

Following the dawn of the new year, countries around the world have been promptly vaccinating their populations in aims of controlling record-high COVID19 rates. But as the world rushes to end the pandemic millions of doses at a time, Canada remains relatively still. Despite the urgency for vaccination, Canada has had one of the slowest vaccination rollout rates. Even with a week head-start over countries such as Israel, Canada has a vaccination rate of 0.3, while Israel leads the world with 12.59 vaccination doses.

One can argue that Canada’s large geography and dispersed population might explain the delay. However, this argument fails to explain why vaccination rates in densely populated urban areas such as Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver remain low.

A more plausible explanation queries the leadership and organization skills of Canada and its provincial governments: According to sources, Ontario paused COVID-19 vaccinations during the holidays due to lack of staffing, despite numerous volunteers who reached out via social networks to offer their help. Furthermore, the Canadian government has allegedly secured an insufficient number of doses. No justification can explain this alarming mishap as Canada, a high-income country, can certainly financially secure high doses of vaccines to supply its 40 million citizens.

Health professionals must continue to pressure government officials to increase efficiency and leadership skills in regards to immunization campaigns. Additionally, the provincial governments should take note of health models used by countries that have launched successful immunization campaigns.

It’s been a year since Chinese authorities have identified what would become a deadly pandemic that has affected the lives of billions. A year later, it’s finally time to put an end to COVID-19 once and for all.

Danielle Ben-Shoshan

Ottawa, ON