Updated: What Getting Vaccinated Means for You
Every Canadian can be fully vaccinated with the 66 million doses PM Justin Trudeau has secured. Now, the pandemic has become the pandemic of the unvaccinated.
It’s official! After a long year and a half of dealing with the inconsistent rollout of vaccines in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has secured enough vaccines to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadian citizens. At a press conference on Tuesday, July 27th, 2021, Trudeau reveals that Canada has received over 66 million Covid-19 vaccination doses in total, enough to fully vaccinate everyone 12+.
Trudeau reminded everyone of his promise back in the winter where “we would have enough vaccines for all eligible Canadians by the end of September. Not only have we kept that promise, but we've done it two months ahead of schedule.” This large procurement of vaccinations has ramped up the expected “one-dose summer” and “two-dose fall” timelines.
How many Canadians are vaccinated vs unvaccinated?
According to the Government of Canada’s Covid-19 vaccination coverage data, as of July 17th, 79.6% of the population 12+ have received their first dose while only 57.45% of the population 12+ are fully vaccinated.
This means that of the eligible 33 million Canadians, only 26 million have gotten vaccinated. With this large shipment of vaccine doses, Trudeau says there are “no more excuses” for not getting vaccinated. He reminds everyone that an “overwhelming majority of cases in Canada are in people who haven’t been fully vaccinated,” whereas only 0.5% of Covid-19 cases are in people who are fully vaccinated.
With knowing these statistics, why have so many people not gotten vaccinated yet? Not everyone who hasn’t gotten vaccinated yet is an anti-vaxxer. Many Canadians live in rural areas with limited access to vaccination sites. The government is working towards accessing these people with mobile and pop-up clinics. Some Canadians have strong fears over needles or who are prone to fainting, but the health care workers who are administering these vaccines are accommodating to these issues. People with a fear of needles and are prone to fainting can have an enclosed area where they can lie down and their vaccine does not necessarily have to be administered in the arm.
One recent survey has revealed that 8% of Canadian adults are hesitant to get a vaccination. This means that they would prefer not to get it but can be persuaded to take a shot, or they prefer to wait a little longer. However, this 8% has significantly shrunk from March where 30% of Canadian adults were hesitant to get vaccinated. Another 8% of Canadian adults say they outright refuse to get a vaccination.
Why should you get vaccinated?
These Covid-19 vaccinations are the best defense against this global pandemic. Even if you believe that you will be completely fine if you catch the virus, others around you might not be. Getting vaccinated protects you, your family, friends, coworkers, health workers, kids under 12 years old, neighbours, and your community.
For those who are unvaccinated, there are barriers they will face in the future. Conversations of vaccination passports are underway which means that to travel internationally, one may need to show proof of being fully vaccinated. Even with restricted travel now, proof of vaccinations is required to be exempt from the mandatory quarantine period. For students, many universities and colleges have stated that they require students to be vaccinated to live in residences, or even to be on campus this fall.
These vaccines are safe, free, and necessary to beat this pandemic.
To have life return to normalcy, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, the medical officer of health for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, states that we need to establish a herd immunity with 85-90% of people vaccinated.
What does this mean for international students?
International students who arrive in Canada and don’t have Canadian-approved vaccinations, either one or both, must self-isolate for 14 days and take a covid test. After 14 days and a negative covid test, the students can come out of isolation.
To help international students, many schools are providing on-campus vaccine centres or directing students to the nearest clinic to ensure that individuals coming to Canada that have received one or two doses of a vaccine that is not Canada-approved will have access to one additional dose of a mRNA vaccine soon after they arrive in Canada.
Many schools are requiring that their students must be fully vaccinated to come onto campus, but they are allowing a grace period to give students time to get the necessary vaccines. These grace periods vary in length for each school, so make sure to check what your school’s policy is!
Representatives from Pfizer and Moderna have announced that they are doing studies on vaccinating those under the age of 12. Trudeau is incredibly supportive of this initiative, especially since children will be going back to school in the fall.
Which schools are requiring vaccinations to come onto campus
The province of Ontario has recently announced that post-secondary schools with Covid-19 vaccination policies in place by September 7, 2021 will be able to lift the distancing and class size limitation requirements. Students will still have to wear masks indoors, but indoor classroom learning is slowly returning to normal.
Many schools are still in the process of making decisions about Covid-19 protocols for students returning to campus this fall, but a select few have opted for requiring students to be fully vaccinated to be able to come onto campus. These schools, except for Seneca College, will allow those without proof of vaccination to come onto campus, but they must be tested twice a week.
While not all universities and colleges are requiring students to be fully vaccinated to be on campus, most of them have stated that students need to be vaccinated to live in residences, play sports, and participate in extracurricular activities. Some schools are asking students to “self-declare” their vaccination status while on campus. Make sure to check out what regulations are in place at the school you will be attending in the fall!
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