Editorial: A vaccination plan that protects the vulnerable

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On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement that Canada will be getting its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of this month.


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That is good news. It seems the feds read the room and realized they needed to hustle to get at least some volume of vaccines to those who most need it as soon as possible.

The amount is not massive, coming in at just 249,000 doses. This will apparently only serve to vaccinate half that number of people. So we’re looking at around 125,000 vaccinated persons.

It’s a small number when looked at in relation to the total population of Canada, at over 37 million people. That’s not really what we’re talking about right now though. The first doses are for those most vulnerable and most at-risk of having a serious outcome from COVID-19.

The Ontario government, for example, announced on Monday that long-term care home and retirement residents and staff will be first, followed by health-care workers.

This makes sense. A full 80% of those who died of COVID-19 during the first wave were long-term care residents. This is ultimately where the pandemic is playing out.

Public health officials acknowledge this. Stores are not shut down for fear that younger persons going into those shops will contract the virus and die from it. That’s not what the officials are saying.

No, those restrictions are in place to stop the virus from spreading more broadly in the community and then making its way to high-risk persons who may enter the hospital and even tragically die of it.

We still believe that there must be a smarter way to manage COVID-19 that protects the vulnerable and eases the restrictions on low-risk persons.

But whatever your perspective, making vaccines available to high-risk persons first is a win for all.

The more that people who are most likely to die from COVID-19 get the vaccine, the more they are protected and the less of an argument there is for the various restrictions currently causing other problems in our communities.

Everyone who wants a vaccine should have access to it, just like with the flu shot.

Canadians in lower risks categories though should also see the benefits of letting others go first.

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