Health officials say country almost over third wave, but fourth still a possibility


Canada’s top doctor has confirmed people in this country are over the crest of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic but warns Canada needs to remain cautious or risk a fourth.

The country’s latest pandemic milestone shows 22 million vaccine doses administered to date, up from 10 million last month, according to health officials.

So far Canada has received 24 million vaccine doses with 15 million more by the end of June

Pfizer vaccine deliveries will be increasing during the month of June where 1.5 million doses will be delivered each week and nine million more in July.

With questions recently around Moderna doses, federal officials have now announced the new delivery schedule.

Moderna will deliver two shipments equaling 500 thousand doses next week and another 1.5 million the week of June 14.

“I would like to be clear on this point,” Procurement Minister Anita Anand told reports in a news conference Friday. “Moderna assures us that there will be millions more doses arriving in Canada before the end of June.”

Vaccinations are going extremely well acres the country, health officials say, especially in Indigenous communities and in the three territories.

Three quarters of the adult population in the territories has received the first shot and 66 per cent have now had a second dose.

Infections and hospitalizations are also down except in Manitoba which is still struggling with the ravaging third wave of the pandemic.

Dr. Theresa Tam, the head of the Public Health Agency of Canada, says hospitalizations in the province have not yet begun to decline.

The average hospital stay in Manitoba for people with COVID-19 is two weeks and it’s closer to three weeks for those experiencing severe illness.

“The number of hospitalized patients accumulates over time placing a heavy strain on health care capacity,” Tam said.

With summer approaching Tam warns against provinces loosening restrictions too early.

She said downward trends show measures put in place across the country are working to suppress the third wave as vaccinations continue.

“While this forecast is very encouraging,” Tam says. “It re-affirms that now is not the time to relax our measures. If measures are relaxed, increasing the number of community-wide in person contacts, a resurgence is likely.”

Reporter / Ottawa

Originally from the Cree Nation of Chisasibi on the eastern coast of James Bay, Quebec, Jamie has lived in Ottawa since 2015. Trained in journalism at Carleton University, he has worked as a freelance print journalist and as a writer/researcher for the Cree unit of CBC North out of Montreal. Jamie was hired as the reporter/correspondent for the Ottawa bureau in October 2019.