A nurse loads a syringe with a vaccine for injection at the Victoria Clipper Terminal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody

A nurse loads a syringe with a vaccine for injection at the Victoria Clipper Terminal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody

B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout not enough to bring back normal life by fall: report

Only 51% of the population will be protected under B.C.’s current rollout, SFU professors say more vaccinations are needed to achieve herd immunity

Not enough British Columbians will acquire immunity from COVID-19 vaccinations for life to return to normal by fall, according to two Simon Fraser University professors.

Simulations run by mathematicians Paul Tupper and Caroline Colijn show at the province’s current rate of inoculations, reopening in September would lead to “substantial rises in cases and hospitalizations.”

Nearly 470,000 people would be infected, approximately three times the number of B.C. infections to date.

The province is aiming to provide every eligible adult with a second COVID-19 vaccine dose by September under its current vaccination program. However, only 80 per cent of B.C.’s population is adult and only 80 per cent of those adults are expected to get vaccinated.

This means a large portion of the population, 49 per cent, will still be unprotected – nine percent short of the minimum 60 per cent needed in order for B.C. to achieve herd immunity.

This includes children, for whom COVID-19 vaccines are not yet approved, adults who refuse to get a shot and people for whom the vaccine isn’t effective.

“Our simulations indicate that herd immunity is not attained with current vaccination plans,” Tupper and Colijn wrote in the report.

RELATED: Why is there no COVID vaccine for kids yet? A B.C. researcher breaks it down

The key, the professors said, could lie in vaccinating kids.

“We need a higher fraction of the population to have immunity in order to return to life as normal,” reads the report. “We can reach that fraction either through vaccination or infection.”

Providing inoculations for those as young as 10 years old would increase B.C. immunization numbers to more than 60 per cent, resulting in herd immunity.

Though, as the report notes, it is not likely the province will see children inoculated by fall because of the time needed for regulatory vaccine approval.

In their calculations, Tupper and Colijn assumed those who have been infected with COVID-19 are immune from the disease.

READ MORE: Moderna to begin COVID-19 vaccine trial on Canadian children as young as 6 months



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirusvaccines

Just Posted

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Kelowna RCMP adds 6 Mounties to Community Safety Unit

Community Safety Unit performs high-visibility uniformed patrols in the city’s public spaces

A preliminary rendering of the proposed LED marquee sign along Highway 97. (City of West Kelowna)
West Kelowna Warriors owner thinks 24-foot marquee could help game attendance

City council supportive of idea at first consideration

The manager and a worker at the Penticton Great Canadian Oil Exchange in front of the new sea-can. (Submitted)
Kelowna and Penticton oil recycling facilities get upgrades

The BC Used Oil Management Association provided grant funding for the upgrades

(Contributed/PadMapper)
Kelowna has Canada’s 7th most expensive rental market: report

PadMapper’s monthly rent report shows Kelowna residents pay, on average, $1,480 for a one-bedroom unit

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

KCR Migrant Support Worker, Javier, had an exciting day escorting his son Ian with him during ‘Take your Child to Work Day’!
KCR: Volunteering is being part of a whole

KCR Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The Maritime Kitchen Party is featured in the B-Side, the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre’s online series, May 13-16. (VDPAC photo)
B-Side keeps Okanagan musicians in Focus

Performing Arts Centre online concerts continue

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

The. B.C. Court of Appeal granted a retrial to former Vernon man William Schneider, convicted of second-degree murder in the 2016 death of Japanese exchange student Natsumi Kogawa. The trial is set to begin May 24, 2022. (Vancouver Police Department photo)
Retrial date set for former Okanagan man’s murder conviction

William Schneider’s trial, connected to the death of Natsumi Kogawa, is set for May 2022

Most Read