Oranges please!

My wife and I are finally scheduled for our first COVID vaccine shots next week. Hooray!

Despite this good news, the constant bellyaching of naysayers is starting to get to me. The drone that bugs me the most: “Yeah, but our vaccination numbers are lagging behind 50 other countries. ” That opinion is widely shared by what I call glass-half-empty kind of people: chronic grumblers who tend to compare apples to oranges. I consider myself more of a glass-half-full kind of guy: OK, tell me more about apples.

“Comparing apples to oranges isn’t necessarily useful if you’re trying to learn more about apples. And that is exactly what some experts say is happening in recent discussions of Canada’s vaccine rollout performance on the world stage.”

Apples, as it turns out, are those who have been fully vaccinated with two doses. Oranges are those who have only received one dose. Canada, unlike many other countries, has decided to extend the time gap between first and second doses by up to four months.

“What we’ve decided to do in Canada is to give one dose to as many people as possible,” says Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh, the head of NACI. So, naturally, the number of fully vaccinated people here will be lower than elsewhere.

“I know that that decision, that was taken by Canada and the provinces, has led to a lot of anger and anxiety in some people. It’s very complicated for some people to understand that better protection for all is eventually going to be better protection for them as well.”

When you compare Canada to other “orange” countries, we actually don’t fair too badly. In fact, we rank third in countries of both the G20 and the G7 (behind only the US and the UK), and in the top 10 out of 37 OECD members. Not too shabby for a country that has to rely on foreign supply.

April 8 numbers reported on CBC NEWS
Chart: Rob Easton Source: Our World in Data, Government of Australia, United Nations

So when you roll up your sleeve, if you haven’t already, take comfort in the fact that we are all moving in a positive direction. And resist the temptation to compare apples to oranges.

3 replies »

  1. Thanks Guy. Rod and I just had our first shots yesterday and it was easy peasy, free parking in the convention centre, and anyone with mobility problems just have to go to the 1st floor of the convention centre. Others have to go outside and enter the York avenue entrance and are directed to the 3rd floor. Everyone was very friendly and so accommodating. It actually was a pleasant experience! Also there was a feeling of some relief once we both had that 1st shot. We were in and out very efficiently.

  2. Good article Guy. Thank you.
    However, we are so used to going to local Community centers for flu shots year after year (and pharmacies)
    To use one supercenter downtown is so inconvenient with huge lineups and awkward transportation and parking. I would much prefer going to our local community centr for the second shot[

    • I hear you, Bob. We’re lucky here in BC; they give us a number of options, and the vaccination site I chose is close enough that I can walk over.

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