Ottawa, ON – In lieu of an in-person update to the media, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement today:
“There have been 119,451 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 8,981 deaths. 87% of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested 4,447,810 people for COVID-19 to date. Over the past week, an average of 48,360 people was tested daily, with 1% testing positive and an average of approximately 400 cases were reported daily from across the country.
Currently, we are learning to live with COVID-19, while also hoping that a successful vaccine will be developed to reduce the burden of illness and contribute to long-term disease control. Vaccines have been one of public health’s most successful achievements, greatly reducing illness and death due to serious infectious diseases. Until now, the world has never before worked as quickly and with such global solidarity on the technology and science required to produce a vaccine that can save lives and reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is no small feat, as there are many steps and partners needed to produce and rapidly deliver a safe and effective vaccine. From developing and testing for safety and effectiveness, manufacturing at scale to acquiring, distributing and finally administering and monitoring vaccine programs, many partners have to work together.
Canada has engaged domestically as well as internationally, involving scientists, researchers, health professionals, regulators, manufacturers and many others, to expedite the careful processes of vaccine development, evaluation and production. At the same time, decision makers, vaccine program experts and public health authorities are among the many involved in procurement, vaccine program planning and delivery across Canada. The ultimate success of a COVID-19 vaccine in Canada will depend on Canadians across the country rolling up their sleeves to receive the vaccine to build up immunity at the population level.
As we are still a way off from having a safe and effective vaccine for widespread control of COVID-19, we must carefully balance the risks associated with spread of COVID-19 with the unintended social and health consequences of restrictive public health measures. This requires action from each one of us, including being aware of the risks for exposure and making informed decisions based on the advice and recommendations of our local public health authorities.
Taking appropriate precautions and avoiding high-risk settings and situations will help to keep you, your family and community safe. Learn more on ways to reduce your risk of infection and spreading the virus here.
Don’t lose hope, stay the course and keep being part of the solution.”