Canada surpasses U.S. vaccination rate as country prepares to reopen borders – .

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Canada surpasses U.S. vaccination rate as country prepares to reopen borders – .



According to Health Canada, nearly 70% of Canadians have received at least one dose of the vaccine, placing the country very close to the 75% threshold that public health officials say is necessary to approach herd immunity.

“We have seen record levels of immunization, Canada is the world leader in terms of first doses and we have has just overtaken Americans in terms of fully immunized Canadians, ”Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday in an announcement on infrastructure outside of Toronto.

“We will continue to move forward in a thoughtful and responsible manner, but the point is that people need to keep getting their second doses and those who have hesitated need to get their first doses. ”

But the milestone was not marked with a national celebration, as public health officials and politicians continue to urge people to be cautious.

The third punitive wave of Covid-19 in Canada weighed on hospitals this spring and exhausted frontline healthcare workers. It’s still a vivid memory for many, even though the country recorded an average of about 400 cases a day last week, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

And the scarcity of vaccines, until recently, left millions of Canadians anxious and exposed.

“As people said in March, it was like the ‘Hunger Games’ (for vaccines), hospital systems were collapsing and the supply was not there,” said Andrew Young, founder of the popular organization Vaccine Hunters Canada, told CNN. “Right now, I can tell you that I am much more relaxed. “

Young founded the organization in March to help find vaccines for Canadians as the rush to get vaccinated was well underway.

Vaccine Hunters Canada said it uses the computer and social media skills of about 100 volunteers to connect Canadians to vaccines.

“I think our real niche was hope, if I could put it that way,” Young said. “There was not much hope in terms of constant blockages, an increase in cases, school closures. So to me Vaccine Hunters represented hope and the niche it filled was that it connected all provinces with its deployment strategies, so we had a consolidated platform for Canadians nationwide.

While the federal government bought and paid for vaccine doses, vaccine administration was carried out by each province and territory.

One evening a few weeks ago, Young recalls, a vaccination clinic in a suburb of Toronto contacted the organization at 1 a.m. to tell them that there were a few dozen doses of vaccine left.

Vaccine Hunters Canada spread the word on social media and each dose was given late at night.

“I still see us as important enough to help spread the word, help amplify the voices of certain groups that need a little push,” Young said, adding that the “last percentage” will need to. more creative strategies as Canada faces its own vaccine hesitation.

Although Canada claims to have purchased more doses per capita than most countries in the world, the bulk of doses were not delivered until later in the spring.

Canada still lacks significant vaccine manufacturing capacity, although the Trudeau government has pledged to fund more domestic vaccine production by 2022.

Canada to reopen borders to vaccinated Americans

Adoption of the vaccine was not politicized in Canada.

However, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr Theresa Tam has been warning for weeks that vaccine hesitation could prevent Canada from achieving the herd immunity it needs to fight the virus. .

In a recent statement, she encouraged Canadians to share “credible” information about Covid-19. She warned earlier this month that there were not enough young Canadians “volunteering their arms” for vaccines.

Yet Canada is now confident enough to open its borders to visitors for the first time in 16 months.

As of August 9, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents of the United States and only those currently residing in the United States will be allowed to enter Canada. Non-essential travel to Canada has been banned since March 2020, which the Canadian government has said is necessary to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

International travelers could also be allowed to enter Canada from September 7, provided that “the epidemiology of Covid-19 remains favorable,” the Canadian government said in a statement released Monday.

Entry into Canada will continue to be prohibited for all foreign travelers who are not fully vaccinated.

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