Canada's slow vaccine rollout is sparking outrage among Canadians, especially those in the healthcare sector. This comes as hundreds of Canadians die from the virus every day and more than half of the population is living under lockdowns.
While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau boasts about the millions of doses he has secured for Canada, very few have been delivered or administered. Biostatistician Ryan Imgrund told CTV News that "We’re not getting these needles into arms as fast as we need to."
CTV News reported that Canada thus far has vaccinated around 56,845 people, which is less than one fifth of one percent of the population. In the meantime, data from Oxford University shows that the United States has vaccinated four-times as many people per capita.
Canada is also behind many other nations, including Israel and Bahrain. When the number of vaccines administered is measured by 100,000 people, Canada is at 0.14. The United States is at 0.59, the United Kingdom is at 1.18, Bahrain at 3.23, and Israel is at 4.37.
Canada's low vaccination numbers can be blamed on the limited supply of doses, as the vaccines are not manufactured in Canada. The poor planning behind vaccination programs has also contributed to the low numbers.
Some provinces are also facing backlash for cutting back on vaccinations during the holidays. Manitoba closed its vaccine clinics from December 23 to December 29. While Ontario shut down 14 of its 19 vaccination clinics over Christmas.
Doris Grinspun of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario says that said "The virus doesn’t take a weekend, it doesn’t take time to sleep at night…and it certainly doesn’t take Boxing Day or the holidays off."
The head of Ontario's Ontario Vaccine Task Force, Retired Gen. Rick Hillier, admitted that the province should have not cut back on vaccines, saying "clearly we got it wrong."
Gen. Hillier also told CTV News "We’ve been slammed, we’ve been spanked. We’ll pick up our game, we’ll get on from here."