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T-minus 36

Jody Vance: Have holiday plans with friends and family? And are unvaccinated? The good news is you still have time to get fully vaccinated beforehand – but the clock is ticking fast.
Think of it as a REALLY long advent calendar.

With the rather abrupt end of summer and a soggy September, here we go into fall and winter in BC. With stormy vibes and sun setting earlier each day, ‘tis the season to do the math on the coming festive season.

In years past I’ve been up front about my least favourite season and the reasons around it. Here’s a refresher.

Halloween fireworks and my dogs: it’s not great to say the least. Costumes have never been my thing, and my years as a cocktail waitress put a full stop on Halloween meaning a big night out to party. Halloween + little kids = fun.

Post-October 31, my frustration tends to flourish with the full court press to St. Nick. Remembrance Day deserves our collective attention for 11 short days of lapel poppies, and one day of acknowledgement of those who fought for our freedom.

Nov 1 + 10 days of poppies = respect.

Then we dive into the 36 days of Christmas.

That countdown found me doing some unusual, COVID-19 related, math.

This week’s column turns to the question “how soon must one receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to be fully immunized by December 24, 2021?”

That math goes something like this:

Remembrance Day + Vaccination = Christmas

In other words, imagine someone receives their first dose on November 11th. The recommended interval until the next dose is 28 days – which brings us to December 9th. After your second dose, doctors recommend allowing 14 days before immunity kicks in – which brings us to December 24..

For families struggling with the vaccine hesitant or downright anti-vaxxers in their midst, who might belatedly assume they’d be able to gather at the Christmas table with a last-minute shot, there’s a simple answer:


The clock is ticking in earnest for the unvaccinated, and if they want to partake in holiday fun, I hope they accept this heads-up as a dose of reality – and a path towards avoiding the targeted health measures limiting what unvaccinated individuals can and cannot do.

No one would want to risk a loved one’s health at Christmas, right? The babies and kids who cannot yet be protected, and elders who even if fully vaccinated could still contract the virus and suffer significant illness. Immunocompromised people who might not even be in attendance but still be the recipient of a spreader event. All this is important to consider.

So again for the cheap seats: to safely gather with your family for Christmas you must get DOSE 1 of any approved COVID-19 vaccine by November 11, 2021 to be fully immunized by Christmas Eve. After DOSE 1 there is a 28 day waiting period before DOSE 2 is administered. Two full weeks post DOSE 2 = Fully Immunized.

So, with that in mind, if you’re reading this on publication date, it’s T - 36 days until you reach the point of no gathering safely. November 11th, 2021 is a Thursday, and a stat holiday - so plan accordingly.

Despite many people’s best efforts, there’s no denying the realities of this 4th wave: alarmingly commonplace double digit daily deaths, and data showing the majority of critical care patients and deaths are unvaccinated.

One should expect additional, not fewer, public health measures targeting unvaccinated individuals throughout this fall and winter, and specifically traditional days of gathering such as Christmas and New Years.

That’s enough math for today. Except for these vital statistics: To date there have been 6.34 Billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered around the world — 26.68 million each day (including today). If you’ve not had yours — be the +1 so your coming holiday season can have some semblance of normalcy.

Jody Vance is a born and raised Vancouverite who’s spent 30 years in both local and national media. The first woman in the history of Canadian TV to host her own sports show in primetime, since 2011 she’s been working in both TV and radio covering news and current affairs.