A double-dosed Trudeau says Canada set to fully vaccinate all eligible by the end of summer

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that Canada is on track to have everyone who is eligible fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the summer, noting that until around 80 per cent of people are completely immunized, the country will still be at risk for new surges.

While the federal government’s target throughout the vaccine rollout campaign was to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by the end of September, following a tour of an Ottawa mass vaccination clinic and his second dose appointment, Trudeau said the country is “on track” to exceed that timeline.

The federal government is expecting to have a cumulative total of 68 million vaccine doses delivered by the end of July.

“That’s mathematically enough for everyone in Canada to get two doses, but we know for example that the spacing between the doses means that people who get their first dose now or a few days ago, won't be eligible until later in the summer for their second dose and we need to continue to follow the science,” Trudeau said. 

So far, more than 77 per cent of eligible Canadians have received their first dose, and more than 36 per cent of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated, according to the latest data in CTV News’ vaccine tracker. 

“The way people are stepping up on getting vaccinated has been extraordinary, and inspiring. I look forward to seeing all Canadians vaccinated as quickly as possible, so we can get back to living as normal as possible in a global pandemic,” he said.

On Friday, the prime minister said that while Canada is “on the right track to end this pandemic,” he cited the Yukon’s current spike in new infections as a cautionary tale.

“The Yukon is up in the mid-70s in terms of full vaccination, and they are right now facing the largest spike in new cases that they've had since the beginning of the pandemic. Certainly mostly amongst unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated people, and that's a reminder that even as those numbers come up, as so many people are vaccinated, there is still work to be done, and we still have to be careful,” he said.

Citing Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam’s advice, Trudeau said the country should be aiming to get more than 80 per cent of the eligible population vaccinated “if we’re going to be safe.”

National modelling released a week ago indicated that while there has been a “sustained national decline” in COVID-19 spread across the country, the threat of the Delta variant continues to pose a real risk, and so “sustained control efforts” will be needed in order to avoid a resurgence, until vaccination coverage is high across the population.

PM, OPPO LEADERS FULLY VACCINATED

In 14 days, Trudeau will join the millions of Canadians who already have the protection that comes with being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, after receiving his second shot.

After rolling up his sleeve for a first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on April 23, Trudeau returned to the same Rexall pharmacy and received a Moderna shot for his second dose on Friday morning.

Speaking with the pharmacist who administered the vaccine, the prime minister said he was once again “very excited” to be there, noting that his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau received her second dose on Thursday.

Trudeau said he experienced a “tough night of slight chills and fevers” after his first dose of the viral vector AstraZeneca vaccine, adding jokingly that it was “how I knew it worked.”

The pharmacist then seemed to caution he may be in for a similar experience Friday evening, to which Trudeau responded that his wife did have a “bit of a tough night’s sleep,” after her second shot.

In June, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended that people who received a first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine receive a second dose of an mRNA vaccine, either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

Last week, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and his wife received their second COVID-19 doses in Ottawa. Like the prime minister, Singh received the AstraZeneca vaccine for his first dose and Moderna for his second dose. Singh’s wife also received Moderna for her second shot, after a first dose of Pfizer.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole also received a first shot of AstraZeneca. He has received a second dose, and it was Pfizer, according to his office. 

The Public Health Agency of Canada has said that it considers people to be fully vaccinated 14 days after their second dose, and has recently issued guidance around what those who are fully vaccinated can do safely.