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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

Paul Chung is working as an early childhood educator at Cornerstone Children’s Centre in Nelson. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Immigration pilot targets hard-to-fill jobs in West Kootenay

Program helps newcomers get permanent residency status in rural areas

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Castlegar doctor answers common vaccine questions Part 2

Family physician Megan Taylor answers common vaccine questions

Castlegar Parks and Trails Society is asking dirt bike and ATV operators to stay off hiking trails. Photo: Submitted
Dirt bikes and ATVs damaging West Kootenay hiking trails

Trails society asks operators to obey the signs and keep off the trails

A screen shot from the resource road safety video.
Safety video urges caution on resource roads

Travelling on resource roads can pose various risks

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland third behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The postponement of the event was put in place to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Junior A team Coquitlam Express is offering all Tri-City residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 a free ticket to one of their games. (Facebook/Coquitlam Express)
B.C. hockey team offering free tickets to hometown fans who get the COVID-19 vaccine

‘We know the only way to get fans back is people getting vaccinated,’ says Express’ general manager Tali Campbell

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s latest COVID-19 restrictions cost thousands of service jobs

Part-time workers set back again by spike in virus spread

Most Read