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Canada now vaccinating over 100K per day. Here’s what it will take to hit September target – Global News



Over the last week, Canada has ramped up its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, administering more than 100,000 doses per day.

This is a great start but more needs to be done if the federal government wants to achieve its goal of having most Canadians vaccinated by September, Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist at the University of Toronto, said in an email to Global News.

“It’s not even remotely fast enough,” he said.

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Canada has a population of about 37.7 million people, approximately 31.5 million of whom are over the age of 16 and eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.

As of Sunday evening, the country had administered 3,973,117 shots, after a daily record of 132,517 doses were injected that day.

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This number has been steadily increasing but at a rate of 100,000 vaccinations per day, assuming each vaccination was a person’s first dose, it would take Canada around 10 months to achieve herd immunity levels, Furness said.

Based on those numbers, if the federal government expects to achieve its vaccine targets by September, Furness said it would need to administer around 400,000 shots per day — a number he described as “achievable.”

“At some point, we’ll start involving primary care physicians and pharmacies on a scale that will allow for a lot faster inoculation, which is what should have been done in the first place,” he added.

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There are also other variables at play.

For every single person in Canada to be administered both their first and second shots of the vaccine, the federal government would need 75.4 million doses.

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However, not everybody wants one, nor is everybody eligible. Ipsos polling released March 11 found 79 per cent of respondents said they would take the vaccine.

If just 79 per cent of Canadians wanted the COVID-19 vaccine, Timothy Chan, Canada Research Chair in Novel Optimization and Analytics in Health, said the number of doses needed per day would drop to roughly 280,000.

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Chan said he can’t say with certainty whether Canada has the infrastructure to ramp up vaccines to that level, “but I don’t see why not.”

“We’d be limited by things like space, by things like people, by things like needles and other supplies. But assuming that we can get all of those, I think it is possible to do,” he said.

There are 95 designated COVID-19 vaccination clinics across the country. Many of these clinics have different capacities, usually based around each province and territory’s size and population.

In Quebec, for example, its 18 clinics are currently vaccinating just under 32,000 people per day. Meanwhile, British Columbia, which operates 16 vaccine clinics, has the capacity to administer shots to around 13,000 people per day.

Canada is expected to shift into high gear this week, with nearly 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine and 846,000 Moderna doses expected to arrive. The shipments mark the largest vaccine delivery for the federal government since the start of its immunization campaign in mid-December.

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Maxwell Smith, a Western University bioethicist and assistant professor, told Global News many provinces will be ramping up capacity as more vaccines are supplied. Ontario, for example, has so far been able to vaccinate upwards of 60,000 people per day, but Smith said the province has a much higher capacity.

“We’ve peaked in the 60,000 or so vaccines administered per day recently, and yet we still have capacity to do over 100,000 a day. We’re not even close to meeting the capacity that we’re able to do in the province,” he said.

Similarly, Smith said Canada’s capacity to vaccinate a certain number of people per day will also expand.

“We don’t expect to be staying at 60,000 a day. We fully expect to be going up higher. But that’s really just dependent on getting the vaccine supply that would allow us to do that.”


© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Trudeau nominates first judge of colour to sit on Supreme Court



Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday made history by nominating the first judge of color to sit on the country’s Supreme Court, which has only ever had white justices in its 146-year existence.

Mahmud Jamal, who has been a judge on Ontario‘s court of appeal since 2019, trained as a lawyer and appeared before the Supreme Court in 35 appeals addressing a range of civil, constitutional, criminal and regulatory issues.

“He’ll be a valuable asset to the Supreme Court – and that’s why, today, I’m announcing his historic nomination to our country’s highest court,” Trudeau said on Twitter.

Trudeau has frequently said there is a need to address systemic racism in Canada.

Jamal, born in Nairobi in 1967, emigrated with his family to Britain in 1969 where he said he was “taunted and harassed because of my name, religion, or the color of my skin.”

In 1981 the family moved to Canada, where his “experiences exposed me to some of the challenges and aspirations of immigrants, religious minorities, and racialized persons,” he said in a document submitted to support his candidacy.

Canada is a multicultural country, with more than 22% of the population comprised of minorities and another 5% aboriginal, according to the latest census.

“We know people are facing systemic discrimination, unconscious bias and anti-black racism every single day,” Trudeau said last year.

Jamal will replace Justice Rosalie Abella, who is due to retire from the nine-person court on July 1.


(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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Donors pledge $1.5 billion for Venezuelan migrants, humanitarian crisis



More than 30 countries and two development banks on Thursday pledged more than $1.5 billion in grants and loans to aid Venezuelan migrants fleeing a humanitarian crisis, as well as their host countries and vulnerable people still in the country.

The $954 million in grants announced at a donors’ conference hosted by Canada – which included pledges of $407 million from the United States and C$115 million Canadian dollars ($93.12 million) from Canada – exceeded the $653 million announced at a similar event last year.

But that fell short of the needs of countries hosting the more than 5.6 million Venezuelans who have left their country since 2015, as the once-prosperous nation’s economy collapsed into a years-long hyperinflationary recession under socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Most have resettled in developing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean who have themselves seen their budgets stretched thin due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Does this cover all needs? Of course not,” Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, told reporters. “We will have to continue to encourage donors to support the response.”

At the conference, Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso announced that the country – which hosts some 430,000 Venezuelans – would begin a new process to regularize migrants’ status. That came after Colombia in February gave 10-year protected status to the 1.8 million Venezuelans it hosts.

Karina Gould, Canada‘s minister for international development, said the amount pledged showed donors were eager to support such efforts.

“There is that recognition on behalf of the global community that there needs to be support to ensure that that generosity can continue, and can actually deepen, in host countries,” Gould said.

In addition, the World Bank and Inter-American Developmemt Bank pledged $600 million in loans to address the crisis, Gould said.

($1 = 1.2349 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Luc Cohen, Michelle Nichols and David Ljunggren; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Aurora Ellis)

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Ecuador to start new ‘normalization process’ for Venezuelan migrants



Ecuador will implement a new “normalization process” for the 430,000 Venezuelan migrants living in the South American country, President Guillermo Lasso said on Thursday, without providing further details of the plan.

Lasso’s announcement, at a conference hosted by Canada intended to raise money to support the more than 5.6 million Venezuelans who have fled an economic crisis in the South American country, came after Colombia in February gave 10-year protected status to the nearly 2 million Venezuelans it hosts.

“I am pleased to announce the beginning of a new regularization process, which in order to be an effective, lasting and permanent policy should be complemented by strategies for economic integration and labor market access,” Lasso said.

Ecuador in late 2019 launched a regularization process for Venezuelans who arrived before July of that year. That included two-year humanitarian visas meant to facilitate access to social services.

Lasso said Ecuador needed outside funding to continue caring for Venezuelan migrants, estimating that more than 100,000 additional migrants were expected to arrive before the end of the year.

“I call on our partners in the international community to be co-responsible and have solidarity with Venezuelan migrants and refugees, and with the countries that receive them,” he said.


(Reporting by Luc Cohen; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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