In the wake of several setbacks to the vaccine rollout, Canada has one of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates among developed countries. On the surface, the problem seems to be delayed deliveries and distribution issues. But this is just the latest episode in a long drama. To understand the problem, we need to go all the way back to the 1980s.

Today in The Conversation Canada, Joel Lexchin of the University of Toronto explains how Canada’s current COVID-19 vaccine shortage is the cliff-hanger ending to a decades-long tale of unheeded warnings, missed opportunities and dismantled resources.

Also today:



Patricia Nicholson

Health + Medicine Editor

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

The roots of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine shortage go back decades

Joel Lexchin, University of Toronto

Behind Canada’s current COVID-19 vaccine shortage is a decades-long tale of unheeded warnings, missed opportunities and dismantled resources that was never going to end well.

Students of School Section #13 with teacher, Verlyn Ladd, who taught at the school from 1939 to 1958. Class of 1951, Buxton, Raleigh Township, Ontario. (Buxton National Historic Site & Museum)

Black History: How racism in Ontario schools today is connected to a history of segregation

Funké Aladejebi, University of Toronto

An 1850 act permitted the creation of separate schools for Protestants, Catholics and for any five Black families. Some white people used the act to force Black students into separate institutions.

Minister of Justice David Lametti gives a thumbs up as he rises to vote in favour of a motion on Bill C-7, medical assistance in dying, in the House of Commons on Dec. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

A dangerous path: Why expanding access to medical assistance in dying keeps us up at night

Heidi L. Janz, University of Alberta; Leonie Herx, Queen's University, Ontario

Expanding access to medical assistance in dying (MAID) to those not terminally ill puts vulnerable people at risk of feeling pressured into MAID, and doctors at risk of being forced to facilitate it.

Research shows the breast milk of women who have recovered from COVID-19 offers a source of COVID-19 antibodies. (Shutterstock)

Breastfeeding research improves lives and advances health, but faces conflicts

Meghan Azad, University of Manitoba; Katie Hinde, Arizona State University; Lars Bode, University of California San Diego; Luisa Zuccolo, University of Bristol; Merilee Brockway, University of Manitoba; Nathan C. Nickel, University of Manitoba; Rafael Perez-Escamilla, Yale University

Researchers don't fully understand the composition of breast milk and its benefits. Beyond nutrition, it contains enzymes, hormones and the mother's antibodies — including antibodies for COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit freelancers and gig workers hard. Here’s how they can get through the crisis. (Piqsels)

How to navigate a freelance career during the COVID-19 crisis

Mostafa Ayoobzadeh, Concordia University

Freelancers who have lost work during the COVID-19 crisis can take steps to ensure they have a successful long-term career in the post-pandemic period.

La Conversation Canada

Wall Street et les marchés financiers sont secoués par le phénomène WallStreetBets. Des intervenants amateurs s’adonnent à des tâches normalement réservées aux conseillers ou analystes du domaine des finances, réinventant les rôles dans le secteur. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

WallStreetBets déstabilise les marchés financiers - peut-être pour de bon

Pierre-Yann Dolbec, Concordia University

WallStreetBets est en train de remodeler les marchés financiers. Les acteurs non professionnels du marché font le travail traditionnellement effectué par les conseillers et les analystes financiers.

Les avantages de l'étirement statique dans le cadre d'un échauffement complet avant l'exercice semblent l'emporter sur les inconvénients. Shutterstock

S’étirer ou pas avant de faire de l’exercice : voici ce que disent les nouvelles recherches

David George Behm, Memorial University of Newfoundland; Anthony Blazevich, Edith Cowan University; Anthony David Kay, University of Northampton; Gabriel S. Trajano, Queensland University of Technology

Les étirements statiques, délaissés depuis que des études suggèrent qu’ils réduisent les performances, pourraient faire un retour en force à la suite de nouvelles recherches.


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