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Canada to mark major COVID-19 vaccine milestone this week

Last Updated Jul 26, 2021 at 8:47 am PDT

COVID-19 Epidemiology in Canada in the last seven days. Health Canada

Canada to receive millions more vaccines the week of July 26

Dr. Theresa Tam says there has been an increase in infections in several areas

80 per cent of eligible Canadians have received their first vaccine

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — With a slight rebound in COVID-19 cases in some parts of Canada, the country is poised to mark a new milestone in its COVID-19 fight this week.

An additional five million doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be arriving in Canada this week. It will bring the total to 68 million doses received by the end of July, meeting the promise of the federal government to have enough vaccines for the entire country by August.

As of Friday, more than 60 per cent of the country had been fully vaccinated. An estimated 80 per cent of Canadians have gotten their first shot.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, wrote in a tweet that “Canadians are getting vaccinated through the ages!”

Tam says that as immunization rates rise, there has also been an increase in disease activity in several jurisdictions in recent days. The week of July 16-22 there was a 13 per cent increase in cases over the previous week.

In B.C., a spike in cases in recent days has been reported primarily in the Interior region. Among the areas seeing a rise, Kelowna, where Interior Health issued a warning about a cluster linked to a nightclub. Health officials say since July 1, 70 per cent of the cases in that region were in people who were not vaccinated. Most of these cases are in adults between 20-39 years old.

Elsewhere in the country, more reported COVID-19 cases are causing officials to plead for everyone who can get a shot, to do so right away. On Sunday, Ontario reported an increase with 172 new cases of COVID-19, and two additional deaths. Monday, a decrease in new cases but more deaths were reported.

Alberta’s top doctor says the rise in cases in that province is being blamed on those who haven’t gotten a shot. Ninety-six per cent of those who have tested positive for the virus, are unvaccinated.

In an effort to encourage people to get their shot, Quebec joined Alberta in offering a financial incentive with up to a $1 million available through a lottery. Due to high traffic, the website to enter to win the cash crashed over the weekend.

A look at the COVID-19 epidemiology in Canada in the last seven days.

However, hospitalization rates do show some improvement. Across the country, there was a 20 per cent drop in intensive care unit patients over early July, according to Health Canada.

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South of the border, a new poll shows vaccine hesitancy is growing. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 80 per of unvaccinated Americans say they will likely not get the vaccine.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 56 per cent of all Americans have received their first shot.

With files from the Laura Carney and the Canadian Press