The new Vaccine Queue Calculator for Canada will tell you how many people are ahead of you and what month you might expect to get your shot
This year’s probably wasn’t the most optimistic New Year’s countdown you’ve ever experienced in Canada, but there is reason to feel 2021 might be better than 2020: the COVID-19 vaccine. Canada has begun to roll out the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and has plans to vaccinate 1.2 million high-risk people in the first quarter of the year.
But just because a COVID-19 vaccine exists doesn’t mean you can immediately get it in Canada. The province is distributing it in phases, with phase one currently getting it to health care workers, seniors over 80 (then 75 and 70), residents and staff of senior care facilities and adults in Indigenous communities where infection can have disproportionate consequences.
Phase two will be available to more health care workers, residents and staff of other congregate settings and essential workers.
So when can you get it?
There are a lot of variables that might affect that including your age, your job, your health, the province’s actual rate of rollout and the fact that not everyone asked to get vaccinated actually will.
In order to find your place in line, try the new Vaccine Queue Calculator. Created by recent MSc graduate from University of Guelph Jasmine Mah and Steven Wooding, the tool shows you the minimum and the maximum number of people in front of you and a range of dates you might have to wait till you get your shot.
“I think a lot of people going into the year 2021 are hoping that the virus is just going to disappear, but the truth is it’s still going to take time to get us all vaccinated,” Moh tells NOW.
“At first, I was just curious about when I would get my shot, but as I did my research, I realized that it could be a helpful tool as well for millions like me who are wondering how far we actually are from getting the vaccine. I hope that my estimations can somehow put things into perspective for people who can’t wait to get their vaccines. It would take a long time, but at least we’re a lot closer to having this pandemic behind us than we were before.”
The calculator uses a national rollout plan and puts the default uptake rate at 70.3 per cent, which was the figure last year for people aged 64 and over who were offered the annual flu vaccine. You can customize those variables if you want, while also offering your age and a few other job and demographic variables.
I’m in my mid-30s and, as a journalist who works from home, I’m not considered an essential worker. The calculator tells me I won’t be eligible to get the vaccine until stage three. There are between 12,217,781 and 22,472,513 people ahead of me in the queue for a COVID vaccine across Canada, which means I should expect to receive both doses between early July and late August 2021.
Try it for yourself here.