Ontario on Track for Step 2 of Reopening with Daily Vaccinations on Steady Pace

In Ontario, more than 9 million people have received one dose of a vaccine and roughly 65 percent of the population. As of Tuesday’s, update, that accounts for approximately 75 percent of adults in the province with one dose.

With Ontario approaching one week into Step 1 of its reopening plan, it will be worth monitoring how the easing of certain restrictions impacts daily COVID-19 case counts in the coming weeks.

The good news rests in the province – and science – encouraging outdoor gatherings and patio dining. With warmer weather upon us, data has shown that while there is still a risk of COVID-19 transmission outdoors, it remains low compared to other settings.

Coupled with accelerated vaccinations rollout and more appointments being booked for second shots in COVID-19 hotspots – Ontario opened accelerated second dose bookings to individuals who received the first dose of a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine on or before May 9 – the province is on track to reach Step 2 by July 2; perhaps earlier if the positive trends continue.

Before Step 2 can begin, 70 percent of Ontario adults need to have received at least one dose, and 20 percent need to have received both doses. The aforementioned data shows that the province has already surpassed the first vaccination threshold and is on pace to reach 80 percent by early July.

In terms of full vaccinated Ontarians, the province says just over two million people are inoculated against the virus, accounting for just under 14 percent of the population and slightly over 16 percent of adults.

Based on current daily vaccinations, which are now over 180,000 vaccines administered daily, the percentage of fully vaccinated Ontarians has gone up just about one percent per day. That means the 20 percent, fully vaccinated threshold could be met as early as the week of June 21.

With Pfizer shipments keeping steady through this month and into July, along with more Moderna doses on the way, Ontario may have 20 percent of the population double vaccinated in time for the start of Step 2.

In Ontario’s latest round of modelling released on June 10, health officials pointed to second-dose vaccinations as a solution in controlling and limiting the spread of the Delta variant.

“To help avoid the fourth wave, we need to continue to ensure first and second doses in high-risk communities,” said Dr. Steini Brown on Thursday.

“We need to make sure our vaccine efforts are tailored to community needs and we need to ensure the core public health functions and strong contact tracing.”

The Delta variant – more than 50 percent transmissible than the Alpha B.1.1.7. strain first detected in the U.K. –  is considered the predominant strain in Peel Region and will soon be in the province.

Health officials say the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is less effective in protecting against the Delta variant, hence the urge for second doses, which adds 50 percent effectiveness with residents fully protected.


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