The rampant growth of variants has continued to challenge the nation’s vaccine coverage. Through their modeling analysis, scientists and health experts indicate that to suppress a potential fourth wave and ensure a safer reopening, Canada needs to reach a vaccination target as high as 90%. But Canada’s vaccination campaign has hit a vaccine hesitancy wall, with the first dose rate standing at around 70%. The success of the country’s vaccination campaign depends on the vaccine-hesitant group, the remaining 20% of the population. Like swing voters that decide the outcome of an election, this elusive unvaccinated community has held the key to the win or loss of Canada’s pandemic war.
As a result, the unvaccinated population has quickly turned into the wooing campaign’s targets. The US authorities have resorted to desperate measures to encourage people to roll up their sleeves to break the vaccine hesitancy wall. They’ve rolled out various incentive programs – from free beer to free college tuition to a weekly 1 million dollar prize draw to speed up the vaccine uptake. The US initiatives have inspired vaccine advocates in Canada. While some suggest we follow the US suit by running a –tens-of-million-dollar lottery program, others propose efforts in bringing shots to neighborhoods in the native language of minority groups. The advocates believe that the incentives and convenience can turn the vaccine hesitancy tide around.
These tactics may win over the vaccine apathetic or those facing accessibility challenges. However, they can hardly shift the attitude of the hardcore anti-vaxxers – who deny Covid’s existence or downplay its not concerned at all about the Covid outbreaks in their area, whereas 68% of the vaccine hesitancy group in a Canadian survey says they “are not afraid of catching Covid.” For those living in denials of Covid, incentives may not budge them, but a new wave of Covid risk can serve as a wake-up call.
Canada’s high vaccination rollout is a game-changer for the unvaccinated group, leaving them to face growing Covid risks as the vaccination campaign picks up the pace. According to the scientists, the unvaccinated community would be the variants’ priority targets as the rest of the population is under the vaccine protection. “Communities with lower vaccination rates will be particularly at risk as we reopen, because it’s there that the spark of an introduced case can cause an outbreak,” Dr. Caroline Colijn, an infectious disease specialist at Simon Fraser University told the Globe.
As society gradually reopens, the 30% of the population without vaccination would be the breeding ground for Canada's highly transmittable and deadly variants. Short from protection, the unvaccinated would enable the virus' reproduction number to soar, sparking the fourth wave with a more severe devastating impact.
A 90% vaccinated population can keep the fourth wave at bay, limiting the opportunity for the variants to arise in the vaccinated individuals -- the 70% of Canadians. The vaccine-hesitant group can do a favor for the majority of Canadians by offering their arm. But first and foremost, they should do a favor for themselves. The fear of Covid can motivate them to roll up the sleeves if a sense of civic duty can’t.
我们鼓励所有读者在我们的文章和博客上分享意见。We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. Visit the FAQ page for more information.