New modeling presented by PHAC on Friday suggests that if current transmission levels are maintained, the number of new daily cases could decline over the coming weeks.
Progress has not even been made across Canada, officials say, but overall the numbers give “cause for optimism,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, chief public health officer of the Department. Canada.
COVID-19 outbreaks show continued need for protective measures, doctors say
“With the level of immunization coverage we have achieved in Canada to date, we are much better protected as the respiratory infection season approaches, and today’s modeling update shows that maintaining basic and less restrictive measures such as masking and limiting close contact, we could reduce the impact of COVID-19 this winter, ”Tam said.
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Tam offers Thanksgiving advice as 4th wave of COVID-19 stabilizes in Canada
For the first time since mid-July, the COVID-19 reproduction number has fallen below one, she noted – meaning the pandemic is no longer developing.
However, if transmission only increases by 15% over the next few months, there could be a significant resurgence of the virus this winter, she warned. For this reason, authorities are urging Canadians to continue to follow public health advice before the Thanksgiving long weekend.
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The number of cases across Canada, although it has stabilized, still remains high, officials said. Infection rates are “excessively high” in some areas, they added.
“We are a long way from declaring the pandemic over,” said Dr Howard Njoo, deputy director of public health.
Vaccination remains key, officials said, noting that unvaccinated people are 10 times more likely to catch COVID-19 and 36 times more likely to be hospitalized for the disease, compared to fully vaccinated people.
And as Health Canada reviews an application from Pfizer-BioNTech for its COVID-19 vaccine for use in children ages five to 11, Tam said if approved, such a vaccine could make a huge difference in the Canada’s fight against COVID-19.
It’s a bit late for the childhood immunization to have an impact on Wave Four, she said, but “if you have five to 11-year-olds vaccinated it will make a longer-term difference in terms of transmission ”.
“We mainly want to immunize children because the vaccine gives them good protection against infection themselves,” she said. “And although serious consequences are rare, some children will become seriously ill. “
Still, she said, immunizing children will help overall.
“I think pediatric vaccines offer the next ray of hope on our horizon, and it will add another layer of protection. “
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