WATCH: Ontario accelerating 2nd COVID-19 vaccine doses in hotspot areas
11 June, 2021, 14:53
The University of Toronto's Adalsteinn Brown notes in his presentation that, while vaccines would be focused on high-risk areas, "much of the reduction in cases are in lower-risk communities; benefitting all communities".
The province of Ontario is expanding eligibility for second doses of vaccines in regions where the Delta variant is prevalent.
"Please continue to follow the public health measures that are in place to keep us safe, and get vaccinated as soon as you're able", said Elliott during today's press conference.
While Ontario's COVID-19 situation has seen improvements, the more transmissible Delta variant remains a concern, with Dr.
Despite positive trends, officials say they're monitoring the spread of a more infectious virus variant.
Infectious disease experts widely agree that the two doses required to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus will offer stronger protection against the delta variant of the virus, which has become the dominant strain in the United Kingdom and is gaining momentum in Canada.
However, Deonandan also cautions these numbers aren't solid, but rather observed at the population level in India where the mutation was first identified, and where there is less hospital capacity, less vaccination, as well as high rates of metabolic health issues and diabetes. He adds that two doses result in 80 to 90 per cent protection, and two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine provides around 60 per cent protection.
To date, over 73 per cent of adult Ontarians have received at least one dose, while more than 11 per cent are fully immunized.
The province will be providing additional allocation of vaccine doses to those areas once the local inventory has been fully utilized.
During the week of June 20, the province will also be hosting pop-up clinics at workplaces in the Toronto and Peel regions.
While latest projections presented Thursday suggest already sharply lower case counts and positivity rates will continue falling in the immediate future, concern remained about the more transmissible and possibly more risky Delta variant. That's a 0.1 per cent increase in total cases since Wednesday. "We can not detect and identity it as quickly as it is spreading", Muhajarine said.
"We will continue to look at everything that's available to us", he said.
As of right now, says Evans, the variant is mostly confined to northwest of the GTA and in Kitchener-Waterloo.
"The Delta variant is harder to test for than previous variants". So in order to know whether an infection is caused by Delta, whole genome sequencing is used. "This variant will find unvaccinated people and it will find undervaccinated communities". That is, containing the spread in hot spots benefits other regions, too.
She said even though we're in a position to prevent a fourth wave of COVID-19, there has to be a commitment to vaccinations.
Anand says the federal government has so far delivered 31-million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the provinces and territories. Overall, the White House has announced plans to share 80 million doses globally by the end of June, most through Covax.
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So far hospitalisations are "broadly flat", with very few people hospitalised after receiving both vaccine doses, he added. The UK has reported another 5,341 coronvirus cases, down on yesterday - but significantly up on the same day last week.
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