Ontarians Encouraged to Benefit from Protection of a Two Dose Summer as Public Health Measures are Gradually Eased
TORONTO — More than half of all adults in Ontario have now received a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine rollout continues to reach all individuals aged 12 and over with first and second doses, while the province prepares for Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen.
Health care workers across the province have administered more than 16 million doses since the start of the rollout, with Ontario ranking as one of the world’s leading jurisdictions for population percentage to have received their first dose. To date, more than 78 per cent of adults aged 18 and over have received at least a first dose and more than 51 per cent have received both doses, ensuring the strongest possible protection against COVID-19.
“We have reached another significant milestone in our vaccine rollout with over six million Ontarians benefitting from the strong protection of their second dose ahead of schedule,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Our work doesn’t stop here, and we will continue to work with our health system partners to ensure every single Ontarian who wishes to receive the vaccine can access one. I encourage everyone to book an appointment as soon as you can to put this pandemic behind us.”
To further increase local vaccine uptake, the province is continuing to work closely with public health units, community organizations and other key stakeholders to ensure priority populations from Phase One and Phase Two of the vaccine rollout are able to access their first and second dose appointments and to address other barriers to vaccination. Targeted strategies include mobile clinics and community-based pop ups, dedicated clinic days for youth as well as for people with disabilities, townhall meetings in multiple languages, and services such as transportation, translation, and drive-through clinics.
As part of the province’s continued effort to protect hot spot communities with high Delta variant transmission, targeted supports including community and workplace clinics as well as pop-up teams and additional vaccination staff have been administering COVID-19 vaccines in Delta hot spots. Delta hot spot communities received more than 772,000 vaccine doses from June 14 to July 5, in addition to their regular per capita allocations. Delta hot spot public health units have been successful in managing Delta variant outbreaks through a combination of testing, tracing, and isolating, as well as an extra push to get their populations fully vaccinated. Vaccination is Ontario’s best protection against further Delta outbreaks across the province.
To ensure people have the strongest possible protection against COVID-19, the government began accelerating appointments for individuals to receive their second dose at a shortened interval in May 2021. On July 5, 2021, Ontario expanded second dose eligibility for all individuals aged 12 and over, surpassing its target to accelerate doses for all groups by the end of August. The province’s acceleration of second doses outpaced its predicted rollout due to an increase in supply and readiness across all delivery channels, including hospitals, mass immunization clinics, mobile, pop-up and workplace clinics, pharmacies and primary care providers.
All vaccines provided as part of Ontario’s vaccine rollout provide high levels of effectiveness against hospitalization and death from COVID-19 and its variants, including the Delta variant. Between May 15 and June 12, 2021, more than 83 per cent of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ontario were individuals who had not received either dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, more than 15 per cent had received one dose, and approximately one per cent had received both doses.
“The overall reduction of COVID-19 cases across the province is proof that vaccines are our best defence against this virus,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “And with more Ontarians becoming fully immunized every day, the outlook is encouraging. To maintain this positive momentum and benefits in our communities, I ask all Ontarians to remain vigilant, follow public health guidance and encourage their friends and family members to get vaccinated if they have not already done so.”