Families and youth aged 12 and older line up for a COVID-19 vaccine at Gordon A Brown Middle School in Toronto Wednesday May 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Families and youth aged 12 and older line up for a COVID-19 vaccine at Gordon A Brown Middle School in Toronto Wednesday May 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Canada expected to push past U.S. today in COVID-19 first dose percentage

Canada’s vaccine pace outstripping much of the world but still lags on second doses

Canada is expected to move ahead of the United States today in at least one of the markers in the race to herd immunity against COVID-19.

By the end of the day nearly 49 per cent of all Canadians should have their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, pushing slightly ahead of the U.S. at just over 48 per cent.

Canada is set to get one dose to more than half the population before the end of the long weekend, but remains far back of the pack in the full-vaccination race, with fewer than four per cent of Canadians fully immunized.

It is a marked turnaround for Canada, which just one month ago remained well behind the global leaders in overall vaccinations as Canadians looked with vaccine envy to places like the U.S., the United Kingdom, Israel and Chile.

Almost 18 million Canadians have received at least one dose, with an average of about 330,000 new people joining the vaccinated group daily over the last week.

Trevor Tombe, an economics professor at the University of Calgary who is tracking Canada’s immunization pace against the rest of the world, says with current vaccination rates Canada is on track to surpass the first-dose share of Chile next week, the United Kingdom in two weeks, and should pull even with Israel by mid-June.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says modelling suggests we need three-quarters of Canadians over 12 to get their first dose and one-fifth to have both doses before provinces can safely loosen outdoor public health restrictions this summer.

Canada should be able to hit those goals by mid-to-late June, says Tombe.

And he notes there are no signs Canada’s pace is going to slow any time soon.

“Canada is in this situation where our pace of vaccination is accelerating, past the point where it started to sharply decelerate in the United States,” says Tombe.

The United States’ vaccination program peaked around the third week of April, when just over one-third of the population had been vaccinated.

It is now giving out about half as many new doses each day as it was a month ago, and more than half of those are going to people for their second shots.

Canada is still focused on initial vaccinations, with nine in 10 new injections going to first doses.

—Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine appointments offered for B.C. kids 12-17

RELATED: Can you mix and match COVID vaccines? New Canadian study seeks to find out

Coronavirusvaccines

Just Posted

The Port McNeill Fire Hall. (Port McNeill Fire Rescue photo)
Port McNeill Fire Rescue gets big financial boost from government

Port McNeill mayor Gaby Wickstrom was thrilled by the funding announcement

The river behind the ball field. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Pulled by the flow: river stirs up childhood memories

Gazette editor makes trek through Port Hardy wilderness to swim in the river

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Alert Bay council has decided to cancel Canada Day celebrations. (Alertbay.ca photo)
Alert Bay council cancels Canada Day celebrations

The decision was made in wake of the mass graves being found at former residential schools

A person stands in a tower on the perimeter of the Number 3 Detention Center in Dabancheng in western China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on April 23, 2021. Human rights groups and Western nations led by the United States, Britain and Germany accused China of massive crimes against the Uyghur minority and demanded unimpeded access for U.N. experts at a virtual meeting on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 denounced by China as “politically motivated” and based on “lies.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mark Schiefelbein
VIDEO: Trudeau demands truth from China about Uyghurs

PM says Canada has admitted broken Indigenous relationship, unlike China on Uyghurs

CELEBRATING INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY
Council members and witnesses from the Hupacasath First Nation, left, and Tseshaht First Nation, right, prepare to raise their respective flags in front of Port Alberni City Hall on Monday, June 21, 2021. The flags will permanently fly as part of the city’s reconciliation work. See more coverage from the flag raising ceremony on page A5. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Vancouver Island First Nations flags to fly permanently at city hall

Addition of flags are one Port Alberni response to reconciliation

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, middle right, participates in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in honour of the launch of Kelowna’s plasma donor centre at Orchard Plaza Mall on June 22. From left to right: Canadian Blood Services’ business development manager Janna Pantella, Canadian Blood Services’ operational excellence manager Tyler Burke, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and Canadian Blood Services’ centre manager Janine Johns. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
B.C.’s first dedicated plasma donor centre opens in Kelowna

The Kelowna location is the third dedicated plasma donor to open in Canada

Children walk with their parents to Sherwood Park Elementary in North Vancouver for the first day back to school on Sept. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Study reassures parents, teachers that COVID-19 infrequently shared at school

Federally funded study in Vancouver finds risk in the classroom and in the community identical

Conservative MP Kevin Waugh rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday April 13, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Single-game sports betting about to become legal in Canada

Senate passes bill to take sports gambling away from overseas agencies

Point Roberts is part of the mainland United States but not physically connected to it, to reach the community by land one must pass through Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Closed Canadian border leaves Point Roberts’ only grocery store on verge of closure

‘We’re Americans but we’re not attached to America. It’s easy to forget we’re here,’ says owner Ali Hayton

The Somass Sawmill sits idle in early May 2021. While the kilns have been in use occasionally, and the lot has been used to store woodchips this spring, the mill has been curtailed since July 27, 2017. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni to expropriate Somass Sawmill from Western Forest Products

Sawmill has been ‘indefinitely’ curtailed since 2017

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. home owner grant won’t be altered, despite expert advice

Tax break for residences worth up to $1.6 million too popular

Most Read