Remarks from the Chief Public Health Officer on June 15, 2021

Speech

June 15, 2021 | Ottawa, ON | Public Health Agency of Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create stress and anxiety for many Canadians, particularly those who do not have ready access to their regular support networks. Through the Wellness Together Canada online portal, people of all ages across the country can access immediate, free and confidential mental health and substance use supports, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Nationally, 7-day rolling averages remain on the steady decline. The average national case count has dropped by 85% since the peak of the third wave to 1,300 cases reported daily. Likewise, the average number of people with COVID-19 being treated in our hospitals each day has dropped almost 65% since the peak to less than 1,600 daily. Of these, on average, just over 700 people were being treated in intensive care units and an average of 25 deaths were reported daily.

These positive trends give us great optimism, but they 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 safety. Getting disease rates as low as possible by staying vigilant with personal precautions and infection prevention measures, while increasing public health capacity to limit spread and prevent outbreaks will create the environment for stronger and longer lasting control of COVID-19.

Canadians are playing a very important role in getting us to where we need to be. With close to 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines given across Canada by end of today, people are contributing to COVID-19 control before our eyes.

Canada’s plan prioritised vaccines to those at highest risk of COVID-19, then quickly expanded to other age and risk groups. As vaccine supply has ramped up, implementation of the plan has also accelerated and now we are seeing the benefits of high coverage, including reduced illness and deaths among the most vulnerable populations.

Throughout, programs have continued to adapt to ensure vaccinations could be optimised across the country. Most importantly, Canadians have stayed engaged and stepped up individually and collectively to turn availability into the great results we are seeing! To keep the momentum going, we are passing the baton for COVID-19 vaccination, with the help of Canadian Olympians and Paralympians. You can join this relay of reasons of why it’s important to get vaccinated by using #MyWhy on social media to share your reason – whether it’s to protect your parents and grandparents or get back to more of the activities that connect us – use your story to reassure and motivate others!

Finally, as we share our reasons for being vaccinated, having information from trusted sources is also crucial for informed and confident decision-making. This week the “Ask The Experts” initiative will launch to provide answers to your important questions about COVID-19 vaccination, so keep an eye out for more on this and tell others.

Working together, we can make the best of this window of opportunity and go for gold to get Canada vaxxed to the max!

Read my backgrounder to access COVID-19 Information and Resources, including information on vaccination and ways to reduce your risk of infection and spreading the virus to others.

Contacts

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
613-957-2983

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