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Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

PM urges Canadians to get COVID-19 shots as country reaches vaccine milestone

Tuesday, July 27, 2021 @ 12:36 PM | By Amanda Jerome

On July 27, Canada reached a COVID-19 vaccine milestone as it’s now received more than 66 million doses, which is enough to fully vaccinate every eligible person in the country.

According to a government announcement, this achievement was reached “two months ahead of the original goal of September.”

“This milestone in the largest immunization campaign in Canada’s history,” the announcement noted, “is the result of a proactive procurement approach, focused on building a diverse vaccine portfolio.”

Canada is a “world leader in vaccination rates, with over 80 per cent of eligible people in the country vaccinated with their first dose and approximately 64 per cent fully vaccinated,” the announcement explained.

 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

“The best way to end this pandemic is for everyone to get their shots as soon as they can. Today’s milestone is a clear sign that we are getting closer to this goal,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“I urge Canadians to book their vaccine today, to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities. We will keep doing what is necessary to protect the health of Canadians, finish the fight against COVID-19, and ensure a strong economic recovery for everyone,” he added.

Patty Hajdu, minister of health, stressed that “if you haven’t been vaccinated yet, please make a plan to do so.”

“Our families, communities and small businesses are relying on us to take care of each other and stop the spread. We are regaining so many of the things we enjoy: seeing our families, visiting with friends and going out to eat. Let’s keep going together. Be safe, be sure. Get vaccinated today,” she added in a statement.

In a press conference after the announcement, Trudeau emphasized the need for all eligible Canadians to “get vaccinated now, so that they’re protected in the fall.”

Trudeau said that “unfortunately” the reality with the delta variant and other variants of concern is that “we will see a rise in cases over the coming months, but it will primarily be limited to unvaccinated people”

“Certainly, the serious health outcomes, the overwhelming of our health authorities in certain parts of the country, which is potentially possible, is of real concern. But at the same time, so many millions of Canadians have stepped up and done the right thing and gotten vaccinated for themselves, for the community’s safety. It’s the way we’re going to move forward,” he added.

The prime minister stressed that the federal government is working with provinces on “creating ways to continue to encourage all Canadians to get vaccinated.”

“It is safe; it is effective,” he added, noting that if individuals are relying on high vaccination rates to keep them safe as they themselves remain unvaccinated, they’re putting themselves at risk.  

“If everyone else gets vaccinated they will be kept safe; you will not be safe. That’s why we need to continue to make sure the people are getting vaccinated,” he said.

Trudeau stressed that the vaccine hesitant need to know that the consequences are “extraordinarily severe” if they don’t get their shots.

“I know everyone across the country is sick and tired of COVID-19, sick and tired of the restrictions that they have to go through, sick and tired of being careful and cautious when we just want to be with friends and be out there,” he added, noting “the best way to get back to normal quickly is to get vaccinated.”

“We’re going to continue with ad campaigns; we’re going to continue with provinces putting forward various incentive measures. We’re looking at ensuring international vaccine credentials so people who are fully vaccinated can travel around the world. These are the things that people who are still hesitant are going to be missing out on while at the same time, they’re putting themselves and their loved ones at risk of serious implications of this disease,” he explained.

Members of the press asked the PM whether Canada was too quick to reopen the U.S. border as the delta variant increases across the States, but Trudeau insisted that allowing fully vaccinated travellers into the country is “low risk.”

“The health data is fairly clear, that encouraging or allowing for travel of fully vaccinated individuals is low risk. It’s not zero risk, but it is low risk, and we are confident that, particularly because cases continue to stay low in Canada, that it is the right step to do,” he said.

“Every step of the way we’ve proceeded in a gradual, responsible way and we will continue to monitor very, very closely new cases, cases at that arrive at the border and we will make decisions in consequence. Nobody wants to go backwards, which is why continuing to get vaccinated is so important for all Canadians. We will make the decisions necessary to keep Canadians safe as we have throughout this pandemic,” he added.

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