It’s coming down to crunch time.
To date, there have not been enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to go around. The number of people who want one has outpaced the rate at which they’ve been delivered. But that is going to start to change in the coming months as millions more doses, from AstraZeneca to Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, flood into the country and filter down to British Columbia for distribution.
What we will need is for everyone to roll up their sleeves and get one.
Herd immunity, or community immunity, is vital to protect those who are unable to be vaccinated, and to stop the spread of the infection in a population.
The number of hard core folks opposed to vaccines or scared off by conspiracy theories circulating about the pandemic is small. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t Canadians who are hesitant to get a vaccination.
These are the folks we need to address. They aren’t quacks, or stupid or intransigent on the subject of vaccines. They’re just not quite sure they want to get a vaccine — yet. They’re uneasy. If you talk to these folks, who may well be your own friends, neighbours or relatives, they will often tell you they just want to wait a bit and see. If you ask them, however, what it is they are waiting for, they probably can’t tell you.
What is the piece of evidence that will convince you to get a vaccine? Yes, these are new medicines, but they have already been taken by millions and have proven to be safe and effective both in clinical trials required by our governments and in practice through mass distribution. Serious adverse side effects are incredibly rare, and no more likely than with many of the common medications you take all the time.
Why can’t you just wait a bit? Because this is urgent. We can’t wait for some indeterminate and arbitrary timeframe chosen by you, just because. More than 24,000 people in Canada have died from COVID and 1,500 in B.C. People in Cowichan have died.
It’s time to literally roll up our sleeves and pitch in to beat this virus.