Benedict Huszar / Staff reporter
As the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions are now in effect nine months, demand for a vaccine is at an all-time high. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer started working on a vaccine for the pandemic 28 days after the first case in North America.
Britain and Germany have already approved the vaccine and first treatments began in late 2020. Canada also saw limited distribution to front-line workers and care home residents.
“Making sure a COVID-19 vaccine is safe before approving it is Health Canada’s priority, and when a vaccine is ready, Canada will be ready,” said Health minister Patty Hadju shortly before vaccines began circulation.
The first vaccines in Canada will be handed out to elderly care home residents and employees, as well as other high risk individuals such as front line workers. Although Canada has secured 414 million doses of the vaccine, estimates say only four million of those doses will be handed out by the end of march. The best timeline at the moment would be a limited public roll out of the vaccine by January.
One of the biggest issues with the vaccine at the moment is that it takes two doses to fully inoculate somebody, and the doses need to be administered three weeks apart. So even if people begin getting the vaccine in December, the vaccination process won’t be fully completed until the new year.
News about the roll-out of the vaccine comes as a massive relief as we head towards 2021. However uncertainty is still high and strict safety measures are still in place. The government of BC has declared a state of emergency and urges people to stay at home, avoid all non-essential travel and wear a mask when in public. All social gatherings are still prohibited.
Current Covid-19 restrictions and information: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/restrictions