Not to put a damper on the mood, however, it’s apparent that even with a vaccine roll-out plan on the way, B.C. has a way to go achieve COVID-19 immunity.
Herd immunity needs to occur to really have a foreseeable end to this pandemic. This can only be achieved when 60-75% of the population becomes actually immune to a virus.
Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed, in a recent update, “we are a long way from that.”
What Are The Challenges?
Based on the number of vaccines that B.C. is getting, coupled with the fact each person needs two doses, only a small percentage of the population will be vaccinated by Spring. Public health officials can’t say for certain when more are coming.
With the amounts that we have on the way, it’s not enough to get to the 60-75% that is needed for COVID-19 immunity overall. Canada’s Pfizer Vaccine shipments are also facing a delay.
“It’s not enough to achieve herd immunity, it’s about little under 10%,” says Dr. Henry.
Adrian Dix took to Twitter to explain they are trying to get vaccines to all areas of the province as supplies can allow.
To date 41,064 people have received their first dose of vaccine to #COVID19
We have been getting vaccines out to all corners of the province, getting vaccines from the vials into people’s arms as quickly as supplies will allow.
— Adrian Dix (@adriandix) January 8, 2021
The other concern is to limit the exposure to high risk groups first to decrease the amount of people dying from COVID-19 to avoid healthcare overwhelm.
There is Light At The End of the Tunnel
All hope is not lost though.
There are two more vaccines in the works of being approved, one from AstraZeneca and another from Johnson & Johnson. If those get approved, that may help with the amount of people that can get vaccinated sooner.
Currently the Pfizer vaccine has some restrictions in terms of storage and delivery, but the Moderna vaccine is a bit easier to handle. If the other vaccines, once approved, are easier to manage, it will help with delivery.
Dr. Henry believes we can work towards community immunity once:
- There are enough vaccines
- Enough types of vaccines that can get to all pharmacists, doctors, workplaces, etc.
In the meantime the health order on social gatherings have been extended until February 6th, to avoid transmission.
For more updates in Metro Vancouver, check out our News section.
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