Skip to content

EDITORIAL: Vaccine wastage is a first-world privilege

Canadians desire to get the COVID-19 jab appears to be waning. In early June we faced the adversity of not having enough of the precious resource for everyone who wanted a vaccine.
okotoks-our-view

Canadians desire to get the COVID-19 jab appears to be waning.

In early June we faced the adversity of not having enough of the precious resource for everyone who wanted a vaccine.

However, now the tide has quickly turned and there are more vaccines than people looking to get them.

Cochrane’s vaccine rates sit slightly above the provincial average, with roughly 77.7 per cent of people aged 12 and up having received one dose of the vaccine, and 67.9 per cent of people 12 and up fully vaccinated in the Cochrane-Springbank area, according to the Alberta Government.

We appear to be reaching a critical mass in terms of people choosing to get the vaccine in our community.

Pharmacies have seen a steep decline in Cochrane.

Pharmacies that once saw around 130 people a day are now seeing five or six people. The steep decline in appointments is forcing many pharmacies to toss out the once-scarce vaccines.

Vaccines like Moderna have a minimum amount that can be ordered at once, which is why vaccines are at risk of being wasted with the current number of vaccinations happening in Cochrane and the country.

The dropping rate of those seeking vaccines is due to a number of factors— It may be because the majority of people who want one have one, people are skeptical about receiving a jab and the province has been able to reopen successfully causing some to view the vaccine as no longer necessary.

These factors have now put Canada in a unique position where we can hoard more vaccines than may be necessary.

Not all countries have this privilege.

As of Tuesday (July 27), Our World is Data reported 72.5 per cent of the world population has yet to receive at least one dose of vaccine, and only 13.9 per cent of people worldwide have been fully vaccinated.

To date, more than 3.94 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed, but only 1.1 per cent of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.

Canada is facing a first-world problem in that we have more vaccines than people looking to get the jab.

We are now actively hoarding vaccines during a global health crisis and there are many countries that would jump at the chance to access the precious resource we have in abundance

Regardless of where you stand on vaccines, we can hold our country accountable when it comes to hoarding these precious assets.

We can all call on Canada to ensure vaccines are not wasted and are made available to countries that do not have the same ease of access.

It is the right thing to do and can help ensure the global health crisis comes to an end for all countries.

Resources are available for those who have questions about vaccines including family doctors and websites. 

Check out alberta.ca/covid19-vaccine.aspx, who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/covid-19-vaccines and canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/vaccines.html for more information on vaccines.