Fully vaccinated individuals account for only 0.5 percent of new COVID-19 cases in Canada: Trudeau

Trudeau said he was still confident of the decision to start reopening the border, as the data show that it is low risk to let vaccinated people travel.

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MONCTON, NB – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is urging Canadians who have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine to roll up their sleeves, saying the vast majority of cases are in people who have not received their two shots.

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Only 0.5 percent of new COVID-19 cases are in fully vaccinated people, Trudeau told a news conference Tuesday at a vaccine clinic in Moncton, NB

The prime minister said the vaccines are effective and safe after passing Canada’s world-class standard of medical clearance.

He also noted that they are available: Canada has now provided enough vaccines to fully immunize everyone eligible and train for over 66 million doses.

“With adequate doses for everyone, there are no more excuses for not getting your shot. Do it for yourself, because no one wants to get sick, and it is the unvaccinated and partially vaccinated who are getting sick right now, ”Trudeau said.

“If you do not want to do it for yourself, do it for your loved ones who need to be protected, even from the new varieties of worry. Do it for health workers who are out there in the front line and have been for a very long and a half year stepping up to protect everyone. ”

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As the Delta variant and other variants of concern circulate, it is likely that Canada will see an increase in cases in the coming months, but the increase will primarily be limited to unvaccinated people, he said.

Trudeau said the potential overwhelming health authority in some parts of the country is of “real concern.”

“We do not want to have to start flooding our ICUs and hospitals again with unvaccinated people getting cases,” he said.

He pointed out that many countries only open their borders to people who have been vaccinated. The federal government is working with provinces on a system for Canadian travelers to show evidence of vaccination, he said.

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Trudeau also said various provinces are looking at incentive programs to persuade people to get the shot.

The Manitoba government last month announced plans to hold two raffles in August and September for all residents ages 12 and older who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. The province is offering nearly $ 2 million in cash prizes and scholarships to young people ages 12 to 17.

Quebec also announced plans to hold raffles every Friday in August where vaccinated people could win up to $ 150,000 in cash prizes or $ 10,000 in scholarships.

Trudeau made the remarks as the Delta variant rises in the pockets of the United States, where vaccination levels remain low. Canada has announced that fully vaccinated U.S. travelers will be allowed to cross the border on August 9th.

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Trudeau said he was still confident of this decision as the data show it is low risk to let vaccinated people travel. He said, however, that public health officials will continue to monitor cases at the border.

“No one wants to go backwards, which is why it is so important for all Canadians to continue to be vaccinated,” he said.

The outbreak of the Delta variant in the United States is now so severe that public health officials want even fully vaccinated people to wear a face mask indoors if they live in an area that has a significant increase in cases.

While the vast majority of viral transmission in the United States occurs among the non-vaccinated, these rare “breakthrough cases” among fully vaccinated people can result in a comparable level of transmissibility, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky at a press conference on Tuesday.

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“In rare cases, some vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant after vaccination may be contagious and spread the virus to others,” Walensky warned.

“In areas with significant and high transmission, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people wear masks in public indoor environments to prevent the spread of Delta variants and to protect others.”

Walensky also warned that authorities believe that if vaccination rates do not improve markedly, the United States could be “just a few mutations away” from a highly contagious variant that can completely avoid the vaccines.

Purchasing Minister Anita Anand said Tuesday at a news conference in Milton, Ont., That more than 80 percent of eligible Canadians have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 64 percent have both doses.

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“We are and have been at the top of the world for a week in terms of the proportion of the population who have received a single dose of vaccine,” she said.

“Now Canada is at the top of the G20 (countries) in terms of the percentage of our population that is fully vaccinated.”

Health Minister Patty Hajdu said more work needs to be done to encourage those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so.

Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada are working on national media campaigns and a $ 64 million fund for community-based organizations that help people who have not yet received the vaccine reduce anxiety and fear in culturally appropriate ways, she said.

“We need to make sure that people have the support to be vaccinated, that people have the information they need – so that everyone feels safe and comfortable being vaccinated.”

Hajdu announced later Tuesday that the government is funding two new projects to encourage young people to be vaccinated. The Canada Safety Council will establish an education program for schools, while a youth organization will promote dialogue between young people and their families.

– Additional reporting by James McCarten in Washington, DC

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