The country is getting an update on what you can and cannot do after you’ve received one shot and when you’re fully vaccinated.
On Friday, Health Canada officials tweeted out that when 75 percent of Canadians have their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 20 percent have their second dose, public health measures and restrictions can start to lift based on the conditions where you live.
Health Canada says those with one shot should be able to safely take part in outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, picnics, and patios.
“Then, we can start to look forward to small outdoor gatherings with friends and family. But let’s not forget, we still need to follow our local public health advice to keep everyone safe,” Health Canada wrote on Twitter.
Federal Minister of Health Patty Hajdu says that if by the fall 75 percent of Canadians are fully vaccinated with two shots, more restrictions will be lifted, “and we can enjoy more activities indoors with people from outside our household.”
This could mean a full return to in-person learning for colleges and universities as well as indoor sports and more family gatherings.
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The federal update comes after the U.S. and the CDC released guidance letting people know when and where they can shed masks and forget physical distancing.
Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, Dr. Howard Njoo, told a news conference today he expects masks to be worn as the last line of defence against the illness into the fall.
“For something like the face masks, I would say that would probably be one of the last things to go,” Njoo said.
“I think it’s good practice to keep right into the fall until obviously [and] hopefully everyone receives two doses by September.”
The update follows a study from the University of Birmingham involving people 80 and older that found stretching the intervals between the first and second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from three weeks to three months increases the immune response by 3.5 times.
Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada can expect to receive 4.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna next week.
Anand says Pfizer is moving up its scheduled shipments ahead of the Victoria Day weekend, reassuring Canadians that the country is among the global leaders in its vaccination effort.
“Canada is currently in the top G20 countries across a number of metrics including total doses administered per capita, percentage of population that has received at least one dose, and average daily vaccination rates,” Anand confirmed Friday.
As of Friday, just over 42 percent of Canadians have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Currently, about 1.3-million people – or roughly 3.5 percent of the population – have been fully vaccinated.
Speaking in Ottawa on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada can have a “one dose summer” that will, in turn, set us up for “a two-dose fall.”
Once that happens, the Prime Minister admitted it is then Canada “will be able to talk about going back to school, back to work, and back to more normality.”
Canada’s chief public health officer says we’re seeing hopeful signs that we’ve passed the peak of the third wave.
Dr. Theresa Tam says the latest weekly average of daily case counts is more than 20 percent lower than the peak in April – dropping to less than 7,000.
“We’re also beginning to see reductions in the number experiencing severe and critical illness with less than 4,000 people with COVID-19 people being treated in our hospitals each day,” Tam said.
“Including less than 1,400 in intensive care and an average 48 deaths being reported daily.”
With files from 680 NEWS Parliament Hill reporter Cormac Mac Sweeney and The Canadian Press