Ottawa, Jul 9 (IANS): More than 26 eligible Canadians (78 per cent) have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while 15 million people, or 44 per cent of those aged 12 and older, have been fully inoculated, according to health authorities.
The Public Health Agency of Canada said on Thursday that the total active cases and average daily infections are currently about 95 per cent lower than the peak of the third wave, with less than 500 new ones being reported on a single-day basis, reports Xinhua news agency.
Compared to the peak of the third wave, there has been a more than 80 per cent reduction in the average daily number of people with Covid being treated in hospitals each day and over 70 per cent fewer people in intensive care units, with an average of 13 deaths being reported daily.
"It has taken a lot of effort to get where we are today, but we should not assume we have crossed the finish line," said Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam at a press conference on Thursday.
"While Canadians are steadily coming forward for second doses, the rate of increase for first doses has slowed."
Tam said that in order to get and stay ahead of more highly transmissible variants such as the Delta and Lambda when Canadians head back indoors over the fall and winter, the country needs to reach "the highest possible vaccine coverage as quickly as possible".
She added that Canada sees a sustained national decline of new Covid-19 cases, but the threat of variants continues to pose a real risk, and so "sustained control efforts" will be needed in order to avoid a resurgence until vaccination coverage is high across the population.
Asked where the lower uptake in Covid-19 vaccines is being seen demographically, Tam said that those who appear to be less eager to "offer their arm" are young people, marginalised populations, and in certain smaller communities across the country.
She said that reaching those who are unvaccinated is a priority across levels of governments and public health authorities.
Multiple variants of the virus are circulating in Canada, and Lambda has now joined their ranks.
Lambda, or C.37, is one of the latest variants, and it's now being reported in Canada.
At least 11 cases of the variant have been reported as of July 5, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Canada has so far reported a total of 1,419,114 coronavirus cases, with 26,404 deaths.