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A(H1N1)


Yesterday my son and wife got inoculated. I don’t know whether it will be helpful. Statistics show it is the less harmful option.

We were relatively lucky – TV reports showed people waiting in line for five to eight hours to get the shot. Quite a shame for a developed country. We missed it by ten minutes yesterday evening and so we lost half the afternoon today.

I hope the governments are taking notes of how things are going and will improve for next time. A few observations:

Large crowds of people waiting in line outside in the cold. Favorable to disease transmission. The logistics aren’t easy, but could definitely be done better, as is shown by a small region where people can set their appointment for inoculation on the net at  https://www.csssmariachapdelaine.com/vaccination.php or via the phone. The “vouchers” introduced in other regions are bogus. In theory they should state the hour at which it is your turn so you can go away for a while. In practice it was required for at least one person in the party to stay in line. Not very practical for the single mothers interviewed on TV.

There are two governments here: federal (Canada) and provincial (Quebec). And they don’t seem to agree on who’s competence this is. So we get double the paper and the marketing. What a waste of public money.

The propaganda in the media was deafening loud. If the government intended to create a sense of urgency, it succeeded very well. It was nearly panic.

Canada bought 100 million doses of the vaccine. It has a very short shelf life. There are 33.5 millions people living on the territory. Current recommendations are one shot for adults and two for infants (we’ll have to go through the process again in three weeks). The math is simple: the Canadian government has ordered more than double what it needed. It would not surprise me if in a few months the stock of expired vaccine will be shippedas “foreign aid” to some developing country.

The issue has been already politicized – Canada has a minority government at the moment and every excuse is good for some fighting. As if the opposition parties would have done better.

Canada has placed the order for the vaccine later than other developed countries. The vaccine is slowly tricking down the distribution channel, so there are logical priorities. Health worker first. Then toddlers and infants to five years, which is where we come in. Parents are allocated one shot with the infant. Some families with two or more kids tricked the system, registering separately each kid so that both parents could get the shot. I don’t blame them. By the time the vaccination campaign will get to the general population the wave of flu may be already through. We only have one toddler. But he’ll have to go twice. I’ll go with him the second time and maybe I’ll have my shot. Or maybe I’ll just sit it out. The statistics show that this one is less lethal than seasonal flu. I still recall ma last flu. Six years ago. Just before coming to Canada.

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