To watch the race press the play button at the lower left of the chart.
Canada's vaccine rollout started in mid-December 2020, and with the required couple weeks between jabs, it wasn't until January 2021 that the first Canadians became fully vaccinated with two doses. To keep tabs on the rollout, the federal government releases statistics every week, and at The Coast we turn that data into what's known as a racing bar graph or a bar chart race. The above chart race tracks the percentage over time of the entire population in each province and territory that is fully vaxxed with two vaccine doses. We update the chart weekly when new data is released.
This is The Coast's second Canadian vaccination rate tracker; the first follows people with at least one dose, which is a measure of the vaccine-willing population. Click here to get to that at-least-one-dose animated race.
The fourth wave of Canadian COVID infections, powered by the disease's delta variant, started building in late July, when the country as a whole was about 50 percent fully vaccinated. Canada kept up a fast pace of getting vaccine shots into arms—about a month later, it was 65 percent fully vaxxed—but the fourth wave also grew. It's a confusing, frustrating situation that undermines the early promise that the vaccine would end the pandemic.
"We’re facing the reality that we really want it all to be over, but it’s not over yet," COVID expert John Ross told The Coast. "Capitalism is pushing us one way and biology is pushing another way, and biology always wins."
Alberta lifted most public health measures on July 1, when the province was just approaching 40 percent fully vaccinated according to the chart. (You can use the timeline slider at the bottom edge of the chart to zoom to a date.) Another Coast chart, showing the number of new COVID cases in Canada, reveals Alberta as the early leader of fourth-wave infections, averaging a Canadian high of over 850 new cases per day on August 26.
In Nova Scotia, getting to 75 percent fully vaccinated is the target for dropping mandatory masking, gathering limits and most other restrictions, a target anticipated to arrive September 15. (You can isolate certain places by clicking names on and off in the rows near the top of the chart. For example, turning off every name except Alberta and Nova Scotia would show the race between just those two provinces.) Top public health doc Robert Strang, who is widely considered a provincial hero for leading a successful safety-first fight against COVID, has said that 75 percent fully vaccinated is the level required for herd immunity from the coronavirus. But that was back in May, before the delta variant had really demonstrated its strength in Canada.
Unfortunately "delta has changed the rules of the game—raising the immunity threshold we need to hit, increasing risk in our day-to-day lives and meaning even fully vaccinated Canadians need to keep their guard up," wrote CBC health reporter Adam Miller in August. Heading into the second autumn of the pandemic, "we may now need an estimated 90 percent of the population fully vaccinated" to establish herd immunity. The Coast will be tracking Canada's progress for as long as it takes.First published August 29, updated regularly with the federal government’s weekly vaccination data, which lags about a week behind the calendar.