A “freer” and “more normal” summer might be possible this year depending on whether COVID-19 cases drop and at least 70% of Canadians get vaccinated, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The prime minister, speaking during a Tuesday briefing with media, vacillated between aiming for 70%, 75% and 80% first-dose vaccination rates when outlining what it will take for Canada to return to a measure of normality later this year.
The 70% rate echoes previous statements from chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam.
“The first thing we need to do to make sure we're getting into a summer where people can be a little freer and have a little bit more normal summer with friends around the barbecue is case numbers need to be down right across the country,” Trudeau said, adding Canada also needs to ramp up administration of second doses.
“Local public health officials will make determinations about what under-control case counts are. It could vary a little bit but cases need to be down.”
After administering 106,058 second doses during B.C.’s mass vaccination campaign, provincial health officials expect second doses to begin ramping up by the third week of June.
About 48% of B.C.’s eligible population have received at least one dose of a vaccine, but that number is poised to be fluid in the coming weeks as the province prepares to unveil plans for integrating children 12 and older into its mass vaccination plans.
“We have more and more vaccines coming in. We're going to be able to have enough doses so that we can have that one-dose summer which will set us up for a two-dose fall, which will be much, much better,” Trudeau said.
“But everyone needs to do their part to … get the case numbers down and keep them down and get vaccinated.”