Remarks from the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer of Canada
September 26, 2022 | Ottawa, ON
Bonjour à toutes et à tous. Nationally, COVID-19 weekly case counts have increased slightly over the past week, which may be an early sign of resurgence. Regional variation remains, with some indicators, such as wastewater signals, also showing local resurgence in some areas. While deaths are decreasing and ICU numbers remain low, numbers of people in hospital are slow to decline and remain elevated. With contact rates increasing and more time spent indoors this fall, we could see continued growth of this trajectory.
However, we are going into this fall and winter season with a very different score card. We now have a significant advantage in terms of infection and vaccine-acquired immunity as well as having bivalent vaccine formulations that can further bolster our protection. At the same time, we need to be mindful of our vulnerabilities, since we know that immune protection decreases over time.
If it has been six months or longer since an infection or your last vaccine dose, anyone 12 years or older and eligible for a COVID-19 booster can step up to increase their protection. Keeping up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines is particularly important for individuals at high risk for severe outcomes. Bivalent COVID-19 vaccines, which target more than one strain of COVID-19, are expected to provide stronger and broader protection.
Protecting our health starts with keeping all of our recommended vaccines up-to-date and adding layers of personal protection including handwashing, wearing masks in poorly ventilated indoor or crowded settings and staying home if you have symptoms to prevent spreading infection to others.
Thank you – Merci – Miigwetch
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