EDITORIAL: We’ve come too far to let our guard down now

Our most recent PAN poll asked readers whether they have been happy so far with B.C.’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines. As of late last week, the majority of people who responded (68 per cent) indicated that no, in fact, they were not satisfied.

By Tuesday morning, however, the results had changed somewhat, with just over half (54 per cent) indicating dissatisfaction. Part of the reason for the shift may be the fact that on Jan. 22 the province finally unveiled its long-term plan for getting vaccine into the arm of every B.C. resident who wants it by the end of the summer.

The saying ‘no news is good news,’ suggests that if our news feeds are quiet, nothing bad can be happening. But during a global pandemic, a lack of information, in itself, can be frightening. And up until last week, there wasn’t a whole lot of information to be had on the vaccine front in B.C.

Once the four-phase plan was laid out, a number of groups, from teachers to dentists, quickly began making the case for why their members should be higher up on the list.

They each made valid arguments, but unfortunately, not everyone can be at the front of the line. And while it makes sense to ensure that people who are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 are given priority, we agree with a model that puts the people who are the most likely to get seriously ill or die from the virus right at the top of the list as B.C. has done. With the coronavirus, that’s the oldest among us and people whose health is already compromised.

That leaves the majority of people under 60 without additional health concerns looking at a first dose in July and a second in August.

If all goes to plan, B.C.’s vaccinations will wrap up with the youngest adults in September, with a few getting their second dose the following month.

At some point along the way, we’ll have vaccinated enough people that we can begin to resume our normal day-to-day lives. As tempting as it is to relax and let down are guard, knowing the most vulnerable among us will soon be protected, we’re not there yet.

It’s an understatement to say we’ve had our ups and downs keeping the virus in check in our province.

But a year into this pandemic, we’ve come too far to let our collective guard down and risk putting months of hard work and sacrifice to waste.


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