ontario covid

People in Toronto frustrated that U.S. is vaccinating while we're in another lockdown

We're nearly a week into another blanket shutdown in Ontario, and despite the beautiful spring weather, things feel pretty bleak between the closure of all "non-essential" retailers, the loss of patios, and the new stay-at-home order.

And there's one thing that seems to be making our suffering even worse: watching America, which at one point was criticized for its complete mismanagement of the pandemic, vaccinate its population far more quickly than Canada.

U.S. President Joe Biden said at the end of March that 90 per cent of adults in his country would be eligible for the inoculation by April 19.

In Ontario, meanwhile, only 2.6 million doses have been administered as of April 5 — which would be less than 20 per cent of the population, even if we ensured more people got one dose before anyone got two — most of them among the oldest of our residents, who have been prioritized.

In Texas, which lifted its mask mandate more than a month ago and is now 100 per cent open, the seven-day moving average for daily case counts is 3,204 among a population of over 29 million.

But Ontario, with about half the number of residents, has averaged 3,093 new cases per day over the last seven days, and we are in the most stringent form of lockdown we've seen since the first one implemented more than a year ago.

Across Canada, around 12 per cent of the total population has received at least one dose, per the latest data from March 27, again, mostly the elderly, with age being the primary factor in who gets immunized during our admittedly bungled rollout.

Those of us with American friends are all the while watching them all happily and easily get their shot while most of us in the same age groups will still have to wait months for ours.

The province did reveal this week that it will be ramping up distribution through mobile clinics that will target people over the age of 18 in certain settings — including congregate living situations, residential buildings and large employers — within certain geographical hotspots.

But we've yet to learn the details of who this will exclude, how exactly it will work, and the timeline, other than the fact that the program will commence during the April break starting with priority postal codes in Toronto and Peel.

Looking globally, according to data from Bloomberg, Canada isn't even in the top 20 countries for percentage of population either fully vaccinated or given at least one dose.

We also only have enough inoculations to fully vax less than 10 per cent of our population, falling behind a staggerring 51 other countries.

Lead photo by

Jeremy Gilbert

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