Canada's COVID-19 vaccination rate likely to surpass U.S. this week
TORONTO -- More than 46 per cent of Canadians have been vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Tuesday afternoon, putting Canada on track to surpass the U.S. in the proportion of the total population vaccinated with one dose this week.
This would bring the total of Canadians vaccinated with a single dose to approximately 48 per cent.
Canada has been vaccinating an average of 0.90 per cent of the population each day over the past seven days. This totals to 46.24 per cent of the total population vaccinated with at least one dose as of Tuesday afternoon. The U.S. currently has 47.19 per cent of the total population vaccinated with one dose and has been inoculating an average of 0.22 per cent of their population each day this past week.
At this rate, Canada is expected to surpass the U.S. in the proportion of people vaccinated with at least one COVID-19 dose by Thursday.
Quynh Pham, scientist at the University Health Network and assistant professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health in Toronto, says that it has been encouraging seeing the vaccination numbers increase, however it’s critical that Canadians continue to get vaccinated.
“For a while there, I think we were all quite worried about the vaccine rollout and the distribution and some of the communication strategies, that people weren’t going to want to get vaccinated. But what we’ve seen is a huge turnaround,” Pham told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview. “Seeing that reflected at a federal level is so encouraging. It is really critical that people get their first dose because it affords protection to the individual, but also minimizes the risk of you spreading the infection.”
Two months ago, the U.S. had vaccinated three times the proportion of their population than Canada with a single dose, having vaccinated 22.03 per cent of their population on March 17. Canada reported having 7.4 per cent of its population vaccinated with a single dose that day.
Although more Americans have showed more willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the pandemic, a poll released last week showed that 34 per cent of Americans say they will not be getting the shot.
Meanwhile, a report released by the Angus Reid Institute on Monday said that 12 per cent of adult Canadians who participated in the survey said they would not get the vaccine or they were unsure about getting it. This is a decrease from March when 19 per cent of Canadians said they would not get the vaccine or were unsure about it.
Pham says that because of the constant changes in recommendations and eligibility, not everyone was able to access the most current information right away. Now that the information has become more accessible, she expects that more Canadians will be willing to get the vaccine.
“A lot of our communities weren’t getting the most up-to-date information, whether that just be language barriers or just accessibility to the latest information,” she said. “But I think once people were presented with the opportunity, we rose to the occasion.”
This past weekend, more than 10,000 doses were administered at a Toronto clinic in less than 24 hours. Pham says that this reflects Canadians’ willingness to get the vaccine, which may be why Canada is in a “podium position” when it comes to exceeding the U.S. in people vaccinated with a single dose.
“That’s just a reflection of the willingness to be vaccinated and a complete debunking of the myth of vaccine hesitancy, especially in our ethno cultural minority communities. They just didn’t have the opportunity to get vaccinated before, but when it opened up, people showed up and got vaccinated, and I think that’s reflected in the data that we’re seeing now.”
Canada is expecting to receive 4.5 million doses this week in continuation of their vaccination efforts. With more access to vaccines and more Canadians becoming eligible for inoculation, the federal government is aiming to have all eligible Canadians vaccinated by fall.