Remarks from the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer on July 15, 2021
July 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 and in most health regions, COVID-19 disease activity remains at much reduced levels. Total active cases and average daily cases are 95% lower than the peak of the third wave, with less than 420 new cases being reported daily. Severity trends continue to decline with, on average, 85% fewer people in hospitals with COVID-19 daily than at the peak of the third wave, and an average of 9 deaths reported daily.
To date almost 44 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been given in Canada, which equates to over 26 million or 79% of people aged 12 years or older in Canada with at least one dose. Since this time last week, the proportion of people 12 years or older who are now fully vaccinated has increased from 44% to over 52% and climbing!
As we continue to make good progress towards protecting people, livelihoods and futures in Canada, we are aiming to build the vaccination firewall high enough to prevent severe illness outcomes and resume indoor education, business and recreation this fall and winter.
While we have many weeks of summer left to enjoy, it is also an important time to get ready for all of the opportunities that lie ahead of us. With under 8 weeks to go before Labour Day, getting vaccinated is one of the key preparations to not delay. In particular, for all those who are eligible but have yet to receive the vaccine, time is of the essence to get a first dose and be on track to be fully vaccinated by the fall!
During these crucial next weeks, public health at all levels are honing in on targeted supports to get more Canadians protected. The current epidemiology in Canada and worldwide shows that the vast majority of cases, hospitalisations and deaths are occurring in unvaccinated people. Asymptomatic and mild illness is still a feature, particularly in younger people but no age group is immune to severe illness due to COVID-19 and anyone can spread the illness to others, even if they aren't showing symptoms themselves. This is why vaccination is important for every eligible age group. In particular, as infection rates are still highest among those under 40 years of age in Canada, increasing vaccine coverage in younger age groups can have a big impact on COVID-19 control across communities. This is also needed for the protection of those who are at high risk, including those who can't be vaccinated, such as young children.
For everyone who is not yet vaxxed to the max, this is a call for arms - you are needed in raising the firewall. Please step up, ask the questions you need answered, find the time and seek out supports in your community to make this happen for you, and commit to joining the collective Canadian effort to protect ourselves and those around us, and to get back indoors together this fall!
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.
Public Health Agency of Canada
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