“How long until I get the COVID-19 vaccine?”
It’s among the most pressing questions of 2021 as Canada ramps up vaccination efforts to stop the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Two web developers found a way to offer Canadians a rough estimate, creating a calculator based on national guidelines.
Users plug in their age and other details, such as whether they are in a long-term care home, health or essential worker, to see where they are in the vaccine queue and when they can expect to receive their dose.
“We know that waiting to get the vaccine might be frustrating,” wrote developers Steven Wooding and Jasmine Mah on the calculator’s website.
“However, by prioritizing those who are most at risk of hospitalization and death, we should quickly save lives with this fantastic new weapon against the virus.”
Canada’s currently in Stage 1 of the vaccine rollout, which recommends provinces prioritize health-care workers, residents and staff of long-term care homes, and adults 70 years of age and older and in remote Indigenous communities. The provinces are generally following these guidelines, with some slight variations.
Stage 2 will ensure all health-care workers are vaccinated, as well as essential workers and residents and staff of other congregate settings, such as homeless shelters and correctional facilities.
Then, Canada will enter Stage 3, which means making the vaccine available to the general public, potentially between July and September.
Mah and Wooding noted that vaccination rates are likely to speed up later in the year.
In the first three months of 2021, the Public Health Agency of Canada estimates three million Canadians will be vaccinated. Within the third quarter of 2020, it predicts 20 million Canadians will be vaccinated.
As of Saturday, Canada has administered 296,241 vaccine doses, according to a map tool developed by University of Toronto PhD students.
Currently, people who are eligible to be vaccinated are notified through their employers or care homes. Provinces are developing ways for individuals to register online for the vaccinate once it is available to the general public.