A vaccine is here, just in time for Christmas!

In case you’ve been living under a rock or really really in self isolation, you have probably heard the great news! A vaccine for COVID-19 is here. It’s viable and effective and the plans are being formed to roll it out to the public.

We spoke about it on The 905er this week:

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To summarise this is fantastic news. Definitely a light at the end of the tunnel. It will take some time to roll out this vaccine to ensure that we do indeed achieve proper herd immunity in the province and country.

In that time, it appears that the Ontario government is contemplating utilising a proof of vaccination card to allow people to gain access to public as well as private businesses. The idea that needing to show a vaccination card to enter a restaurant, gym or cinema is an interesting idea to be certain. I understand the government’s thinking. As the vaccinations progress at a certain point, businesses and people will want the restrictions lifted and for commerce to start to return to normal. This is after all what we’ve all been waiting for.

I do see a catch however. It lies in the fact that this will be a voluntary vaccination program. Meaning that not everyone will do it. Due to conspiracy wackiness or ignorance, we may be faced with a sizeable chunk of our population refusing to do their part in helping stop this disease.

Based on the recent Ontario government’s roll out of the voluntary flu shot vaccination program, issues are definitely going to pop up down the road. It took my family almost two months of searching to find a place that actually had doses to give us. I’ve heard from people who are still searching for clinics and pharmacies that can give them theirs. The flu shot roll out has left a lot to be desired in terms of logistical effectiveness. And it was completely voluntary.

If the COVID-19 vaccine program is anything like the flu shot one, expect much delays and frustration with shortages. Combined with the notion that a vaccination card will be needed to effectively re-engage with society, we potentially have the risk of a two tier society. Those who are vaccinated and those who aren’t. As people start to enjoy themselves and socialize again, those of us who are stuck dealing with bureaucratic backlogs and shortages are denied and force to remain in isolation.

It boils down to a question of fairness. Should we who want to be vaccinated but can’t because of no fault of our own be penalised? I’m not a lawyer but it does raise the question of charter equality. A solution to these would be to make the the vaccine mandatory. It’s already done for public school entry. If we all just had to wait for our appointment time to get our shot, rolled out neighbourhood by neighbourhood, it would just be a matter of patience. As well, the government would know exactly at what point the population would be effectively immune from COVID-19 that restrictions could be lifted.

The details are still forthcoming. I am going to hope that it goes smoothly and that we are able to lift the restrictions as soon as possible safely. Once those in the long term care homes, the immune-compromised and our front line workers have had their vaccine, my family and I are all going to get theirs. I hope you will too!

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