Over 75 percent of eligible Canadians have now received at least one jab of an approved COVID-19 vaccine while more than 20 percent have been fully vaccinated.
According to Vaccine Tracker Canada, the country hit its 75 percent partially vaccinated threshold Friday evening with 25,029,378 shots administered.
Hours later, on Saturday afternoon, the country had administered enough doses for 20 percent of the eligible population to have received both shots.
To date, a total of 31,735,308 doses of COVID-19 vaccines having been administered across the country.
The achievement lands Canada squarely on the first goal laid out by the Public Health Agency of Canada in early May. At the time, federal health officials released what they described as a “roadmap” to earn more normalcy in the spring, summer in fall.
They said if Canada reaches 75 percent single-dose coverage and 20 percent full or second-dose coverage — including those 12 years old and above — provinces could safely begin easing restrictions on public movement without overwhelming hospitals and ICUs again.
Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, had said back then that if vaccinations go according to plan and if 75 percent of Canadians are fully vaccinated, people could “look forward to moving indoors together.”
PHAC officials had said Canadians could even have the chance to get back to college classrooms, play indoor sports and hold family gatherings.
However, speaking at a COVID-19 press conference last week on June 15, Dr. Tam said the variants used to develop those earlier models didn’t include the Delta variant, which is the most infectious one tracked in Canada to date and is believed to cause more severe illness. It is expected to become the dominant variant circling the country.
“If we model the Delta variant now and put that into that model … it does mean that even higher vaccination coverage would be even better at protection against the hospitalizations and overwhelming the health system,” said Dr. Tam.
Dr. Tam said that knowing one dose is proving to be less effective against the Delta variant, but that two doses are doing very well, it is more important than ever to aim for full vaccination as quickly as possible.
“Should we aim for higher?” she asked. “Yes, I think we should. As I said, shoot for higher, shoot for gold, shoot for the stars. That gives us a better buffer for managing the COVID-19 situation.”
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