New COVID-19 cases have dropped 80 per cent — and 5.3 million more shots are set to arrive next week

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After months of largely dangerous information, Canada’s chief public well being officer mentioned immediately the nation’s COVID-19 trajectory has improved dramatically and an anticipated flood of doses ought to put the nation “on the path back to the things we miss.”

As of Friday, Canada was averaging about 1,500 new circumstances a day — an 80 per cent decline from two months in the past and a quantity similar to the caseload reported in mid-October, earlier than the lethal winter surge, in line with information offered by the Public Well being Company of Canada (PHAC).

Since peaking in mid-April, new circumstances, hospitalizations and deaths nationwide have drastically declined.

Over 27.7 million vaccine doses have been administered throughout Canada and 2.6 million doses got up to now week alone, Dr. Theresa Tam mentioned.

About 72 per cent of all Canadians over the age of 12 have been partially vaccinated and 11.8 per cent have had each doses.

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Chief Public Well being Officer Dr. Theresa Tam offers an replace on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa in Might, 2021. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

“As Canada steps into the vaccination fast lane, there is a lot for us to take pride in,” Tam mentioned.

“We’re in a good position,” mentioned Dr. Howard Njoo, Tam’s deputy. “I believe the case curve is now moving downwards and, if we keep up with vaccinations and public health measures, I believe the curve will continue to descend.”

In response to information collated by the College of Oxford-based Our World in Information, Canada now ranks first globally by way of the quantity of people that have had not less than one dose of the vaccine, having surpassed earlier chief Israel yesterday.

About 63.6 per cent of all Canadians — a metric that counts all folks within the nation, together with these youthful than 12 who usually are not but eligible for a shot — now have some kind of vaccine protection. That is marginally higher than the 63.2 per cent reported in Israel.

However Canada lags different international locations in terms of getting the second “booster” photographs into arms. “Of course, we want the two doses faster,” Tam mentioned.

Moderna steps up

These numbers are anticipated to tick even larger now that Moderna has confirmed it should ship greater than seven million vaccine doses to Canada this month.

Extra Moderna photographs are set to reach subsequent week than the corporate delivered within the first three months of this yr. Brig.-Gen. Krista Brodie, the navy commander main vaccine logistics at PHAC, mentioned 2.9 million of the seven million photographs will arrive subsequent week, with the rest anticipated over the week of June 21.

Mixed with Pfizer’s promise to ship 2.4 million photographs, meaning greater than 5.3 million mRNA doses shall be delivered to provinces and territories subsequent week alone — a determine that ought to supercharge the nation’s immunization marketing campaign.

With so many eligible Canadians already vaccinated with not less than one dose, the main focus will shift now to administering booster photographs to construct immunity because the extremely infectious Delta variant — the pressure that was first recognized in India — begins to flow into in lots of communities.

‘Shoot for the celebs’

Tam mentioned Canada ought to “shoot for the stars” and purpose to vaccinate way more than 75 per cent of the inhabitants with not less than one dose.

Prior to now, Tam has mentioned Canada should vaccinate not less than three-quarters of the inhabitants to successfully curb the unfold of the virus and shield hospitals from being overwhelmed. Now, she mentioned, she needs the nation to go even larger to make sure a fourth wave cannot take maintain.

“If we get variants that are more transmissible, and we if we get variants that evade the vaccine immunity by a little bit, it’s much better to shoot for higher,” Tam mentioned.

Tam mentioned getting only one shot is not sufficient to let Canadians return to doing all of the pre-pandemic issues they miss as a result of the booster shot is required to construct substantial immunity in opposition to COVID-19.

“Because of the Delta variant, I’m advising caution, particularly between the first and second doses,” she mentioned.

“It’s so important for everyone to realize that one dose doesn’t do it. You really need to be fully vaccinated,” Njoo added. “Hopefully, we can accelerate and have many more Canadians receive their two doses by late summer and maybe even earlier, who knows.”

Njoo mentioned he is hoping Canada does not hit a “plateau” with vaccination charges caught at their present ranges — a pattern that some international locations, notably the U.S., have skilled.

He mentioned public well being officers are engaged on methods to get the vaccine-hesitant onside.

AZ doses on the best way

Joelle Paquette, the director basic accountable for vaccine procurement at Public Companies and Procurement Canada, additionally offered some promising information to AstraZeneca recipients Friday.

Paquette mentioned the corporate has confirmed a million doses of that product will arrive in the course of the week of June 28. Whereas these doses have been promised for a while, the federal government has been unable to supply a agency supply timeline prior to now.

Whereas the Nationwide Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has mentioned Canadians can mix-and-match vaccines, this AstraZeneca cargo will assist inoculate a few of the 2 million Canadians who have already got acquired a shot of that product.

In the meantime, the 310,000 Johnson & Johnson doses that Canada has in its possession face an unsure future. Doses of this one-shot product have been sitting in storage for weeks whereas Well being Canada verifies the product’s security. 

Staff at Emergent BioSolutions, a Maryland-based firm that was manufacturing that product, inadvertently ruined 15 million doses of the J&J vaccine by mixing up supplies supposed for the manufacturing of AstraZeneca photographs.

U.S. regulators regulators immediately advised J&J that about 60 million doses made at that troubled manufacturing unit can’t be used due to doable contamination. Canada’s provide of doses, which have been made on the Emergent plant, shall be stored out of the provision chain for now, Paquette mentioned.