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LETTER: Canada has become the 'poster child' for vaccination

'When you realize that Canada lacked the capacity to manufacture a COVID vaccine, our government’s procurement must be called a success story,' reader says

BarrieToday welcomes letters to the editor at news@barrietoday.com. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is from Peter Bursztyn, a former NDP candidate in Barrie. 
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There has been a lot of partisan political comment around the speed with which Canadians have been vaccinated. In the Barrie area, it has become clear that Conservatives feel the Liberal federal government has failed Canadians.

We certainly performed less well than Israel, but there is a reason. Israel made a deal with Pfizer to get their first vaccine shipments. They now admit they paid Pfizer twice as much for their doses in return for giving the company complete access to their COVID data.

When accused of overspending for the vaccine, then-Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu shut down criticism instantly by pointing out that Israel spent a shorter time in lockdown and its economy took less of a hit than did any other OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) country!

Our southern neighbour supplied itself with vaccine before allowing exports to other countries. The attached graph shows American vaccination rates well ahead of ours until May. After May, Canada emerges as a vaccination poster child. By July, we are ahead of all OECD members and roughly level with Israel, whose vaccination efforts seem to have stalled.

When you realize that Canada lacked the capacity to manufacture a COVID vaccine, our government’s procurement must be called a success story.

The companion graph shows that American vaccine hesitancy is closely associated with support for the Republican Party. This is very odd, because the virus responsible for this disease is not a member of any political party and does not vote.

Peter Bursztyn
Barrie

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