With the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic apparently on its way in Canada, PEI Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison eased some pandemic restrictions at a briefing Tuesday.
“We are able to begin easing some of the public health measures that come into force immediately,” Morrison said.
“I would say that PEI is heading in the right direction. We are moving towards the light at the end of the tunnel.”
The limits for personal collection have been raised to 50 up from 20, and cohorts are no longer required at Vax Pass events.
Morrison provided a long list of signs that the most dangerous part of the fourth wave is over for PEI
It included the declining number of active cases in PEI, the region and the country. The number of new cases fell by 15 percent in Canada last week, and the number of admissions fell by 11 percent, she said.
Extended eligibility for 3rd doses
Following new recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization released Friday, the PEI is expanding the number of individuals eligible for a third-dose COVID-19 vaccine.
Islanders who are immunocompromised or residents of long-term care facilities are already getting these shots. Morrison said all eligible long-term caregivers will receive these doses by November 5th.
The new groups added to the qualifiers are:
- Adults 70 years and older.
- Adults from indigenous communities.
- Residents in long-term care and local care facilities who received their second dose at least six months ago.
- Individuals with moderate to severe immune deficiency
- Individuals who received two doses of AstraZeneca or one dose of Jansen.
- Healthcare professionals providing direct patient care received the first two doses with an interval of 28 days or less, and received their last dose more than six months ago.
Appointments can now be made at a pharmacy or public health clinic, Morrison said.
According to the province’s third-dose website, “moderately to severely compromised individuals should wait at least 28 days after receiving their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before receiving a third dose.
“All others who are eligible should wait at least six months after receiving their second dose before receiving a third dose.”
The youth is still limping
People under 30 remain a soft spot in PEI’s vaccination rate, Morrison said.
As of Saturday, she said, 88.3 percent of eligible islanders were fully vaccinated, and the rate for those aged 30 and over was more than 85 percent.
But the rate was lower for younger age groups.
- Age 12-19: 79%.
- Age 20-29: 76%.
Morrison called on all eligible islanders to take steps to be fully vaccinated as soon as possible.
Since January, she noted, the PEI has reported 220 cases of COVID-19, and 81 percent of those cases were not fully vaccinated.