Remarks from the Chief Public Health Officer on July 8, 2021

Speech

July 8, 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 and in most health regions, COVID-19 disease activity is at low levels. Total active cases and average daily cases are about 95% lower than the peak of the third wave, with less than 500 new cases being reported daily. As well, with overall lower infection rates and increasing vaccination coverage, severe illness numbers are much reduced. Compared to the peak of the third wave, there has been a more than 80% reduction in the average daily number people with COVID-19 being treated in our hospitals each day and over 70% fewer people in intensive care units, with an average of 13 deaths being reported daily.

To date over 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been given in Canada, which equates to over 26 million or 78% of people aged 12 years or older in Canada with at least one dose. Second dose coverage has been catching up quickly, with 44% of people 12 years or older fully vaccinated in Canada. This is great progress and the benefits are mounting, with fewer and smaller outbreaks, reduced community spread and significant reductions in disease severity. Moreover, recent evidence shows that all COVID-19 vaccines in use in Canada provide substantial protection against symptomatic illness and severe outcomes caused by variants of concern, with excellent protection after the second dose.

It has taken a lot of effort to get where we are today, but we should not assume we have crossed the finish line. Canada is within reach of having at least 80% of the eligible population fully vaccinated, but we must keep the momentum up. While Canadians are steadily coming forward for second doses, the rate of increase for first doses has slowed. Dr. Kieran Moore recently issued a call for arms in Ontario and I would like to extend that to all of Canada. Getting vaccinated benefits you and those around you – your family, friends, coworkers and classmates.

The best target to reach for, to get ahead of highly transmissible variants as we head for an Indoors Fall, is getting the highest possible vaccine coverage, as quickly as possible. By rolling up your sleeve and lending an arm you are doing the best to protect yourself as well as contributing to all Canadians getting better protected and getting 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
hc.media.sc@canada.ca

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