A long-term seniors’ care health-care worker receives the vaccine at a clinic on Vancouver Island last month. (Island Health photo)

A long-term seniors’ care health-care worker receives the vaccine at a clinic on Vancouver Island last month. (Island Health photo)

Editorial: Patience required as we wait in vaccination line

Delays have caused some shuffling of plans, but deliveries of doses are on the way

The vaccine can’t be measured only by the millilitres that are drawn into the syringe. It means much more, and that’s why there has been so much impatience as doses have been delayed.

A month-long slowdown in Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine deliveries is expected to end this week, with the single biggest shipment of vaccine doses from Pfizer and BioNTech to date. Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander overseeing Canada’s vaccine distribution, said last week that Pfizer had confirmed it was shipping 400,000 doses to Canada starting Monday, Feb. 15. Deliveries of COVID-19 vaccine doses are set to more than quadruple, as another 168,000 doses are also expected from Moderna.

While a small minority of Canadians will refuse a vaccine outright, a significant majority are eager to get in line, according to a recent Ispos/Radio-Canada poll. However, we will have to be patient.

There are ethical and practical considerations that go into the prioritization decision-making process, and we’ve seen already, during the slowdown, that vaccination plans have had to be adjusted.

The principle of equity must guide decision-making. In other words, limited resources should be preferentially offered to the people who will – and from whom society will – derive the most significant benefit.

It starts with those most vulnerable to severe illness. Premier John Horgan is asking people to help elderly seniors living in every B.C. community get ready for a COVID-19 mass vaccination effort that is expected to start by the end of March. The province hopes “good neighbours” of seniors 80-plus will help them reserve vaccine appointments online and by phone. Pre-registration details are expected in the coming weeks.

It’s in everyone’s best interests to help everyone, in turn, get needled and get safe.

-files from Canadian Press/Black Press

READ ALSO: Stay informed about COVID-19


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