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Coronavirus vaccine may not see complete return to normal: Former Manitoba health officer

Coronavirus vaccine may not see complete return to normal: Former Manitoba health officer

Many people have been looking to the moment when a coronavirus vaccine is found as when things can return to pre-COVID-19 times.

But what happens in Manitoba when one is found?

READ MORE: 72% of Canadians support mandatory coronavirus vaccine, Ipsos poll suggests

A survey conducted exclusively for Global News this month by Ipsos found that 72 per cent of Canadians agree that vaccination against COVID-19 should be obligatory.

A total of 28 per cent oppose.

Manitoba’s former chief public health officer Dr. Joel Kettner says waiting for the vaccine as the time to return to normal may not work.

“It’s not enough to just rely on or wait until a vaccine comes. Because unless we are going to force people to be vaccinated, which is something that has never been done to my knowledge in Canadian public health history, we don’t know how many people would get vaccinated.

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“There’s a whole bunch of reasons people don’t get vaccinated. And maybe it’s not necessarily intentional and they refuse because of beliefs, it’s convenience, or other priorities in their lives, or news that the vaccine doesn’t work that well.”

Coronavirus outbreak: Is Trudeau considering making a COVID-19 vaccination mandatory?
Coronavirus outbreak: Is Trudeau considering making a COVID-19 vaccination mandatory?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau so far has said little about how his government would approach distributing and administering a vaccine once it’s developed.

“We are still, unfortunately, a long way from having a vaccine and just finding the vaccine is the first step. The next step will be producing the vaccines in sufficient number to inoculate everyone or almost everyone,” Trudeau said on April 28.

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“As to what sort of vaccination protocols will be in place, we still have a fair bit of time to reflect on that in order to get it right.”

Looking at Manitoba’s most recent immunization rates data (from 2017 for people 17 years of age and older):

  • Rubella: 97.2 per cent 
  • Polio: 93.4 per cent
  • Mumps: 90.2 per cent
  • Measles: 90.2 per cent
  • Meningococcal conjugate type C: 83.6 per cent
  • Hepatitis B: 79.1 per cent
  • Diphtheria 77.1 per cent
  • Tetanus: 77.1 per cent
  • Pertussis: 75.6 per cent
  • HPV (girls only): 69.4 per cent
  • Diphtheria  65.5 per cent
  • Tetanus 65.5 per cent
  • Pertussis 63.9 per cent
  • Varicella: 37.0 per cent

When it comes to the flu shot each year, Manitoba residents have had a much lower vaccination rate, with on average a quarter of people getting the shot.

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This year, data from Manitoba Health shows 26.3 per cent of provincial residents got the flu shot.

In 2018, 22.5 per cent had taken the influenza vaccine, 22.3 per cent in 2017 and 21.7 per cent in the 2016 season.