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Canada receiving enough doses to fully vaccinate country by the fall, feds say

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 @ 3:32 PM | By Amanda Jerome

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 @ 3:49 PM

Vaccination dose delivery across the country is accelerating and infection rates are dropping, government of Canada officials announced in a press conference on June 15.

Dominic LeBlanc, minister of intergovernmental affairs, said “to date, 74 per cent of eligible Canadians have received at least one dose of vaccine, with the administration of second doses continuing to ramp up substantially.”

“Approximately 33 million doses of vaccine have been distributed in Canada to date. Over 29 million doses have been administered. From Pfizer and Moderna, Canada is set to receive more than 20 million additional doses in the month of June alone. With the millions of doses that are coming in every week, Canada is receiving enough doses of vaccines to make it possible for all Canadians to be fully vaccinated by the end of September,” he said.

This week, LeBlanc noted, “over five million doses are on their way to the provinces.”

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said “the rolling averages remain on a steady decline.”

Tam noted that the average national case count has dropped by almost 85 per cent since the peak of the third wave, to under 1,500 cases reported daily.

“Likewise, the average number of people with COVID-19 being treated in our hospitals each day has dropped almost 60 per cent since the peak, to less than 1,700 daily. Of these, on average, less than 750 people are being treated in intensive care units and an average of 27 deaths are reported daily,” she said.

Tam explained that these positive trends “gives us great optimism,” but “also represent a narrow window of opportunity to get ahead of this virus.”

“As we are seeing from other countries where the delta variant has emerged, getting the population fully vaccinated is crucial for gaining and keeping the upper hand to reopen safely,” she added.

Tam noted that the government has launched an “Ask the Expert” campaign to provide answers to “important questions about COVID-19 vaccination.”

“Working together, we can make the best of this window of opportunity to get Canada vaxxed to the max,” she said.

During a question and answer period with the media, LeBlanc addressed a question about what a certification of vaccination would be comprised of.

LeBlanc said that “after the first ministers conversation a few weeks ago, there was a broad consensus to continue to work together around the issues of proof of vaccination with respect to international travel.”

He stressed that international travel is the area where “the government of Canada is going to remain focused.”

“The provinces, by virtue of their jurisdiction, have ownership of the health information, of the vaccination information, regarding their citizens,” he said, noting that the federal government will be working with the provinces on this issue.  

“The idea would be to find the best common, secure platform for Canadians who want to have proof of vaccination in the context of international travel. Whether some provinces choose to have vaccination proof as a requirement for certain public activities or certain gatherings, that is properly [under] provincial jurisdiction. We don’t have a federal government view with respect to that,” he explained.

LeBlanc noted that the federal government is working with “allies in the European Union, the United States and others to find the most appropriate way to recognize proof of vaccination for citizens who want to travel internationally.”

“The urgency of coming up with a secure, probably digital, proof of vaccination is something we’re working on collaboratively with the provinces and there may have to be a transitional measure. For example, if there’s a phased adjustment of border measures in July or later in August, or so on, there may be a transitional measure, but we’ll have more to say about that in the coming weeks. It’s a collaborative effort to respect provincial jurisdiction around the health-care data of citizens, but at the same time accepting that the international context will, in all likelihood, require some reliable national proof of vaccination,” he added.

Editor’s note: After the press conference concluded, the Public Health Agency of Canada released a speech from Dr. Theresa Tam where the COVID-19 case count numbers varied from what she described in her morning address. According to the speech, released at 1:43 p.m. on June 15, the average national case count has dropped to 1,300 cases reported daily, while the average number of people with COVID-19 being treated in hospital each day has dropped almost 65 per cent since the peak to less than 1,600 daily.

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