Coronavirus: Canada Catches Up To US In Giving Out First Doses Of Vaccine As It Happened

Canada has inoculated a higher share of its population with a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine than the US, an encouraging milestone following a rocky start to the country’s vaccination rollout.

The US, however, has fully vaccinated a greater share of its residents, with Canada adopting a similar strategy to the UK and spacing out second doses by several months.

More than 20.1m vaccine doses have been administered in Canada, with 48.8 per cent of the population having received at least one jab as at 9.27am central standard time on Friday, according to the government’s vaccination tracker.

That has, for the first time since their vaccination rollouts began on December 14, resulted in Canada overtaking the US, where 48.2 per cent of the population has received at least one dose, according to the most recent US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, which was current as of 6am on May 20. The US has administered more than 279m shots overall. Those figures will be updated later on Friday.

But data from Thursday showed that 38.1 per cent of the US population has completed the vaccination regimen, while Canada has fully vaccinated just 3.3 per cent of its population as of May 8.

Lags in reporting mean there may be some jockeying over the next day or so for the lead in first vaccine doses, but the crossover in the countries’ vaccination paces reflects the acceleration of Canada’s rollout and the slowdown in the US.

Both countries inoculated their first patients on December 14, but the supply problems Canada encountered in the initial months of the rollout were more acute than those faced by the US. Critics have said the Trudeau government was too slow to sign agreements with vaccine makers and did not move quickly enough to shore up domestic pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity. The US announced in March it would send vaccine doses to Canada.

After months of solid progress, the US vaccine rollout has slowed. An average of almost 1.6m vaccines a day were administered in the week ended May 14, down from a peak rate of 3.3m a day on April 11, according to CDC data. Some state and city leaders have announced incentives in the hope that hesitant residents will sign up for a jab.

In early April, about 32 per cent of the US population had received at least one vaccine dose, while Canada was less than half that at about 15 per cent. One month later, the one-dose share had risen to 43 per cent in the US and almost 34 per cent in Canada, even as the latter was dealing with another wave of new coronavirus infections.

Joe Biden wants 70 per cent of American adults to have received at least one dose by July 4 compared with the current level of 60.5 per cent. Seven states have thus far managed to reach the president’s milestone, according to CDC data.

Source : https://www.ft.com/content/5e71d01f-d825-4642-8071-99f547aacc3f

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