For vaccination in the sun: Displeasure with “Snowbirds” in Canada and the USA

A few weeks ago Canada made the headlines as the world champion in ordering vaccines: With the secure doses from seven different manufacturers, every Canadian could be vaccinated three times. As in the EU, only vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna are currently approved. Like Europe, Canada is now confronted with delivery delays at Biontech / Pfizer. There is also a problem with the distribution of the vaccines that have already arrived, for example more remote provinces are complaining that the quantities promised are not arriving.

A look across the border to the USA increases Canadian dissatisfaction: Although the recently passed Trump administration was suspected of practicing virtually no CoV management, over six percent of the population there are already vaccinated, while Canada has just under two Percent lies.

The distribution debate in Canada, on the other hand, is similar to that in Austria: While older people in homes with priority one can hope for an early vaccination, many senior citizens living at home have so far been waiting for a date or at least a period in which they will receive the immunization.

Reuters/Octavio Jones

Vaccination via drive-in: In Florida, it is currently the turn of people over 65

Warm weather, quick vaccination

The announcement by the US state of Florida that all over 65-year-olds can already be vaccinated there – even those who only stay there seasonally, for example in their second home – caused even more excitement. Those Canadians who – contrary to government recommendations – flew into the sun as “Snowbirds” this year, now benefit from it. While the US media are increasingly indignant about “vaccination tourism”, the “Snowbird” forums are lively debating current vaccination dates in the various districts of Florida.

As the Canadian broadcaster CTV reported, private airlines are doing good business with vaccination tourists. “There is a lot of demand,” Janelle Brind, Vice President of Momentum Jets, told CTV News. “There is a constant stream of inquiries”. Not all would disclose the reason for their trip, but a good 20 percent of customers said the reason for their trip was the vaccination in the USA, according to Brind.

Lots of land, few people

With a population density of 3.79 inhabitants per square kilometer, Canada is just ahead of Iceland (3.41) and Australia (3.29) and – although the two neighboring countries are almost the same size in terms of area – almost ten times behind the USA (33.4 ).

Florida and Canada tighten rules

Neither the US nor Canada enjoy vaccination tourists. In response to outraged media reports, Florida once again tightened the conditions for vaccination at the end of last week: Only those who own real estate in Florida and can prove that they regularly live there at least seasonally are eligible for vaccination.

Canada, for its part, tightened travel restrictions on Friday. From Sunday until at least April 30, flights to destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico will be canceled, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a press conference on Friday. From next week, all international flights could only land in the metropolises of Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary, Trudeau announced. After landing, travelers would have to be tested for the virus and spend up to three days in a hotel at their own expense.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Reuters/Blair Gable

Justin Trudeau warns travelers that new restrictions could come in overnight

A general entry ban applies to foreigners anyway, but people with a residence permit are only allowed to enter with strict security precautions. This includes the presentation of a negative PCR test and a mandatory two-week quarantine. New to the game is the mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine at your own expense, which is currently being debated by the government.

Trudeau also called on his compatriots not to compare the strategies of individual countries in the fight against the coronavirus. At the same time he assured that Canada was trying to get as many vaccine doses as possible and as quickly as possible in talks with the manufacturers.

Empty expressways in Montreal, Canada

AP/The Canadian Press/Graham Hughes

The nightly curfew in Quebec continues until February 8th – extension not excluded

The vaccination schedule in Canada is roughly based on the recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), but the details are a matter of the provinces and vary accordingly. In most of Canada, however, the broad mass of the population cannot expect a vaccination before summer.

The climax of the second wave seems to have been overcome

The number of newly infected people in Canada is slowly declining, and the peak of the second wave seems to have passed. The 7-day incidence continues to decline, but is still over 110, despite strict lockdowns and contact restrictions. The mutation B.1.1.7, first discovered in Great Britain, is also causing concern in Canada.

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