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Prioritizing 1st shots leaves us vulnerable to B.1.617, but vaccination rollout is ramping up A new coronavirus variant is taking hold in Canada, leaving experts divided over whether it will expose the weaknesses in our strategy to prioritize first doses of COVID-19 vaccines and jeopardize reopening in much of the country. Some worry that’s the case, but with Canada’s vaccine supply ramping up and second doses accelerating across the country, others believe fears over B.1.617 may be overblown. So how at risk are we from B.1.617, the variant first identified in India also known as delta, and how concerned should Canadians be as we inch closer to reopening much of the country? That depends on who you ask and the uncertainty the next few weeks hold. But there’s no doubt we’re in a much better place than we were when B.1.1.7, the variant first identified in the United Kingdom also known as alpha, hit Canada hard at the beginning of this year.

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