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Fewer COVID cases in people 80 and up, Tam says as vaccine programs expand

Last Updated Mar 21, 2021 at 3:41 pm PDT

FILE - Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canada’s chief public health officer says the expansion of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout has resulted in a drop in the number of infections in people over the age of 80.

Dr. Theresa Tam says on Twitter today that the reduction in cases among older adults, along with fewer outbreaks in long term care settings, can reassure Canadians that vaccines will bring more and greater benefits in the weeks to come.

Her statement comes as several provinces are preparing to expand their immunization campaigns in the coming days.

Ontario is lowering the age of eligibility for shots from 80 to 75 on Monday, while New Brunswick is stepping up a program to vaccinate high school teachers and Quebec will start delivering jabs in pharmacies.

Despite the positive vaccine news, Tam sounded a note of caution over case counts, which are back on the rise after declining earlier this year.

She said infection rates are highest among those aged 20 to 39, who are less likely to get seriously ill but who can spread the virus, including the more transmissible variants which are gaining steam across the country.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 21, 2021

The Canadian Press