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

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Reasonable decision making can go a long way

We’re all at fault, but today I’ll pick on politicians

Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Black Press Media file photos)
MLA’s CORNER: Be thankful for volunteers

It amazes me just how much people do to make the Cariboo Chilcotin region a better place for all

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes shared this photo of the binders and binders of letters and paperwork she’s received on area roads in the past few years. (Submitted photo)
Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

Minister Rob Fleming said more resources were on the way to the region

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Williams Lake Tribune.
FOREST INK: A year to remember for lumber prices

As of March 12, a basic SPF (spruce, pine, fir) two-by-four cost $1,040 per thousand board feet

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: Drier weather good for calving season

My partner and I team up to look for any newborns and note them for later in the day

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

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

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Most Read