Remarks from the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer on July 20, 2021


July 20, 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.

Disease activity and severity trends remain at much reduced levels in most jurisdictions across Canada. Total active cases are now below 4,700 for the first time since late August last summer, and there are 400 new cases being reported daily. Severity trends continue to decline, with 87% fewer people in hospitals with COVID-19 daily than the peak of the third wave, and an average of 9 deaths are being reported daily.

To date over 45 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been given in Canada, which equates to over 26.5 million or 80% of eligible people, aged 12 years or older, in Canada with at least one dose. The proportion of eligible people who are now fully vaccinated is now over 57% and steadily increasing, with many more people registered or intending to get vaccinated!

The latest Canadian data from June tells us that 84 to 88% of those surveyed have either received a dose of COVID-19 vaccine already or intend to get one soon. This is great news, because the more people who get vaccinated the stronger our vaccination firewall will be, for all our benefit. When we say every vaccination counts, it applies to all eligible ages, in all areas of the country, as well as to people who have had a previous COVID-19 infection. That’s because, any gaps in protection for you as an individual or for Canadians collectively is a weakness in the firewall where the virus can get in and spread. And there is a lot to protect inside the firewall, from your health to the health and wellbeing of all those who can’t get vaccinated, such as young children and those with medical contraindications to the vaccines.

With seven weeks to go before the fall and back to school, college and university there is just enough time to turn our best intentions into reality and readiness. COVID-19 vaccination is important for all eligible age groups, so in this latest reminder of the Call For Arms, I want everyone, including younger eligible age groups, to know how important they are in the vaccination effort. If you haven’t already, please make an appointment to get your first or second dose as soon as you are able.

If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to a trusted source such as your health care provider or local public health authority or visit for comprehensive information on COVID-19 vaccines. Canadians are reminded that it is safe to receive one vaccine product for your first dose and a different vaccine product for your second dose. Likewise, Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) considers the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, to be interchangeable. That means, if the same mRNA vaccine you received for your first dose is not readily available at your clinic, it is safe to receive another mRNA vaccine so you can complete your two-dose vaccine series as soon as you are eligible.

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.


Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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