Speech

June 4, 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.

Nationally, COVID-19 disease activity and severity trends continue to decline. The latest 7-day average for daily cases is just over 2,300, which is 73% lower than the peak of the third wave. The latest 7-day average for the number of people with COVID-19 being treated in our hospitals each day has dropped 47% since the peak to just over 2,300 daily. Of these, on average, 1,000 were being treated in intensive care units, down 31% since the peak, and average daily deaths are down 35% to 34 deaths being reported daily.

As of today, over 25 million doses have been administered across Canada, with close to 2.8 million Canadians getting a dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the past week alone! As of May 29th, 65% of the population, aged 12 years or older, have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

As of May 30th, there have been 44 national reports of rare but serious blood clots with low levels of blood platelets following immunization with the AstraZeneca vaccines in Canada. Of those, 30 have tested positive for PF4 antibodies, meeting the definition of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, or VITT. Laboratory testing on the remaining 14 individuals is ongoing. Sadly, among these confirmed cases of VITT, there have been 5 deaths reported. We offer our most sincere condolences to the loved ones of those who have passed away.

Every week we get closer to 75% of eligible Canadians having received their first dose of vaccine protection against COVID-19. As we pass that goal in the coming weeks, provinces and territories are also accelerating their second dose programs to get more people in Canada fully vaccinated for optimal protection against COVID-19.

If you don’t have your first shot, or haven’t booked an appointment yet, now is the time. This includes those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as those with an autoimmune condition or who are immunosuppressed.

If you’ve already had your first dose, thank you – it’s win-win, you’re now better protected and you’ve taken an important step to bring us closer to ending the crisis phase of the pandemic in Canada. You can now keep an eye out for when you’ll be eligible to receive your second shot. Even if you already have an appointment, be sure to monitor local public health information, as appointment dates may be moved up as supply increases.

Getting that second dose is important, both for your own protection and for building immunity in your community – this is a double-double, win-win! While your first dose provides priming immunity, providing most of us with good protection and reducing the likelihood of severe illness, the second dose is crucial for boosting our immune systems to build strong and longer lasting immunity.

We’re on the right path to get back to the things we miss. Let’s keep going steady as we go and not let complacency hold us back from a safer summer, sooner!

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.

Contacts

Media Relations

Public Health Agency of Canada

613-957-2983

hc.media.sc@canada.ca

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