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Canada’s public health official reminded Canadians on Saturday that even those who are fully vaccinated remain susceptible to COVID-19.
Speaking at a virtual town hall for Yukoners, Dr. Theresa Tam said the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is much lower for anyone who receives two injections of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines. .
“But it’s not absolute. There is a reduction in your risk of transmission, but that does not necessarily eliminate your risk of transmission, ”Tam said, adding that the danger decreases especially after the second dose.
“Some studies have shown that it reduces the amount of virus in the back of your nose. If you sample people, there is less virus, which means less risk of transmission. “
Young people, who often work on the front lines or in essential services and find themselves at the bottom of priority queues for immunization, now have some of the highest case rates and can transmit the virus even if they do not present. no symptoms, Tam added.
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“The groups that transmit the virus the most are actually young adults, many of whom have to work. They can’t stay at home, ”she said.
“It is important that we protect them, and the fact that if they are protected, we reduce the transmission of the virus in the community.”
Alberta and other parts of Canada remain mired in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as hospitalization rates have started to drop in provinces like Ontario and Quebec.
Many parts of the country face strict restrictions, with schools closed in Ontario and Alberta and patios closed in Montreal, Toronto and – as of Monday – Calgary.
Some Albertans continue to fret over tougher measures announced Tuesday by Premier Jason Kenney.
Protesters staged an anti-lockdown protest outside a highway restaurant in central Alberta on Saturday, despite heavy rain and a preventive court injunction.
Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Whistle Stop Cafe in the hamlet of Mirror, Alta., For the “Save Alberta Campout” protest.
The largely maskless rally follows a rodeo billed as an anti-lockdown event held last weekend in Bowden, about 100 miles southwest of Mirror.
Alberta Health Services said the provincial government will take legal action to stop any planned protest against COVID-19 public health orders, including one outside the cafe.
Mass vaccination efforts continue to expand across the country.
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In Ontario, nearly 150 pharmacies began offering COVID-19 vaccines to all adults in some hotspots of the virus this weekend, a change made to align with provincial efforts to protect the most vulnerable in the world. in the middle of a third wave of infections.
On Friday afternoon, the province quietly announced expanded eligibility – for anyone aged 18 and over – on a vaccine reservation webpage at a provincial pharmacy, with just over half of locations in Toronto and the region of Peel.
Quebec said on Thursday it had vaccinated 102,762 people, the highest number in a single day since the start of its vaccine deployment. The province set another record that day, when vaccinations were opened to all people 35 and older, with 272,000 people reserving vaccinations, Health Minister Christian Dube said on Friday.
The health situation in Quebec remains relatively stable, the number of new cases of COVID-19 being less than 1,000 for the sixth consecutive day on Saturday and hospitalizations are also down.
However, discouraging numbers began over the weekend in Nova Scotia.
The province continues to have a high number of COVID-19 cases, reporting 163 new infections on Saturday, mostly in the Halifax area.
Across the country, communities along the Alberta-British Columbia border have said they fear continued COVID-19 restrictions will hit their economies hard this summer.
The Government of British Columbia is discouraging Albertan tourists from going there. In Fernie, in southeastern British Columbia, the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce said about 80% of tourism businesses come from Alberta and Saskatchewan – and he encourages travelers to continue to come.
An RCMP spokesperson in British Columbia clarified that Albertans are not prohibited from visiting British Columbia, but once there, they are not allowed to travel to other areas. regions of the province unless deemed essential.
– With files from Hina Alam in Vancouver, Fakiha Baig in Edmonton and Holly McKenzie-Sutter in Toronto