According to new modelling the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) put out on Friday, at least 75% of adults need to have their first vaccine dose before public health restrictions can be lifted in the summer.
If as few as 55% of adults are vaccinated, PHAC predicts Canada could still be in lockdown with another wave of cases beginning in the fall.
As of Friday, almost 11.4 million vaccine doses have been administered to Canadians. Around 21.8% of Canadians are still waiting to receive their second dose as the country’s vaccine rollout remains sluggish.
Only 2.37% of Canadians have received two doses of a vaccine and are considered fully vaccinated.
“Trends have been discouraging in recent weeks, but there is a spark of hope,” Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said.
“The bottom line is that we need as many people vaccinated. As much as possible.”
Even if more Canadians get vaccinated in the coming months, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently said that high vaccination rates will not necessarily mean lockdowns will end in Canada.
“I think it’s important to remember that vaccination alone, even being well advanced in vaccinations, doesn’t necessarily lead to an ability to ease public restrictions,” Trudeau said on April 13.
Due to the government’s failure to procure vaccines, Canada is far behind many countries. The United States and much of Europe maintains vaccination rates much higher than Canada’s.
With high vaccinations rates, several American states and countries like Israel have chosen to reopen their economies.