Public Health Ontario has released a report suggesting the emergence of the COVID-19 Delta variant requires a higher rate of vaccination to achieve so-called herd immunity. The report released this week says the critical threshold for vaccination is likely at least 90 per cent of the Ontario population, and over 100 per cent of the population of those 12 and older who are currently eligible. It says the higher rates are needed because the Delta variant is more transmissible, causes more severe illness, and reduces the effectiveness of a single dose of current vaccines. The province says slightly more than 82 per cent of Ontarians aged 12 and up have received one dose of a vaccine, and just over 75 per cent have had two shots.
The Delta variant is currently the predominant variant in Ontario and transmission will depend on the number and spread of existing cases throughout the province. Learn more in our updated Evidence Brief: https://t.co/kCTUW4Iy62 pic.twitter.com/wQaSdDdTec
— Public Health ON (@PublicHealthON) August 24, 2021
OHA Says More People Need to be Vaccinated:
The Ontario Hospital Association says a higher COVID-19 vaccination rate is needed to limit the burden on hospitals during the fourth wave of the pandemic. CEO Anthony Dale says the uptake of vaccinations has slowed significantly recently as case counts increase. Dale says those who are unvaccinated are placing themselves and others at direct risk — in particular children under 12 who are not yet eligible for immunization.
Case counts are rising, and without higher rates of vaccination the fourth wave will only accelerate. The OHA urges all Ontarians to protect themselves and others and take back control from COVID-19: https://t.co/hycxB7vi6C #onhealth pic.twitter.com/KzIdm4oS9b
— Ont. Hospital Assoc. (@OntHospitalAssn) August 25, 2021
Peel May Create Their Own Secure Vaccine Certificates:
Peel Region’s Dr. Lawrence Loh says he’s looking into what could be done locally to create a vaccine certificate program if the province doesn’t implement one. Vaccine certificates can help to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and limit risk for those unvaccinated in settings where precautions can’t be maintained, Loh says. Health Minister Christine Elliott’s spokeswoman said on Wednesday that Ontario issues proof-of-vaccination receipts to residents after they receive their first and second doses, and that vaccine passports planned by the federal government for international travel could be used by businesses domestically. Premier Doug Ford has so far refused to bring in a provincewide vaccine certificate system.
Hamilton Police To Require Vaccination:
The Hamilton police force says it will require its members to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The move comes a day after the Toronto Police Service said it would need all staff to be fully immunized – a policy the union representing officers opposed. Hamilton Police Chief Frank Bergen says he believes the vaccine policy will help reassure members and the public.
Hamilton Police announce mandatory vaccines for members.
“We took a robust approach in advocating to get our members vaccinated as soon as possible, now we need to be leaders in making those vaccines mandatory, " Says Chief Bergen.
Read More: https://t.co/YqXP2XsuPU
— Hamilton Police (@HamiltonPolice) August 25, 2021
Alberta and Saskatchewan Putting Their Faith in Vaccines:
The Alberta and Saskatchewan governments are not planning to follow broad mask mandates announced this week by neighbouring provinces. Manitoba and British Columbia are reintroducing mask rules because of higher COVID-19 case numbers. Both provinces are again requiring masks in all indoor public places. But Alberta and Saskatchewan say that vaccination is the best, most effective route.
Studying The Origins of COVID-19:
China is on the offensive ahead of the release of a US intelligence report on the origins of COVID-19. A senior official is accusing the US of politicizing the issue by seeking to pin the blame on China. China, the US, and the World Health Organization are entangled in a feud centring on whether the virus that causes COVID-19 could have leaked from a lab in the city of Wuhan, where the disease was first detected in late 2019. A joint WHO-China report published in late March concluded a lab leak was extremely unlikely. It said the virus likely jumped from bats to another animal that then infected humans.
Protesting Mask Mandates:
Protesters turned out in a large suburban Detroit county, a day after officials ordered masks in schools. Angry demonstrators filled the air with the chant — My child, my choice. It’s the latest local mandate linked to rising COVID-19 cases. Officials proclaimed that masks are required in all Oakland County schools, regardless of vaccination status, until cases slow down.
Cruise companies are adapting to a changing landscape amid a rise in COVID-19 cases threatening to dampen the industry’s comeback. Cruise lines have detected infections among vaccinated crew members and passengers, including a recent case involving an elderly traveller who died. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has changed its recommendations on travel and mask use, advising travellers who are at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness to avoid cruises. It also recommends they provide both proof of a vaccine and a recent negative test.
Say "goodbye" to FOMO and "hello" to adventure. pic.twitter.com/HdOQ6Fkpas
— Royal Caribbean (@RoyalCaribbean) August 24, 2021
Ontario reported another 660 cases of COVID-19 yesterday. Health Minister Christine Elliott says in 525 of those cases, the patient was not fully vaccinated or their vaccination status was unknown. More than 160 people are in intensive care units, and only six of them are fully vaccinated. The province also counted one new death.
In Ontario, 20,566,473 vaccine doses have been administered. 82.4% of Ontarians 12+ have one dose and 75.3% have two doses.
283 people are hospitalized (excl. ICU) with #COVID19. 253 are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 30 are fully vaccinated.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) August 25, 2021
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
Waterloo Region Public Health confirmed 16 new cases yesterday but no new deaths. Active cases increased by 4 to 142. Hospitalizations dropped substantially, by 5, down to 8 patients receiving inpatient care.
Public Health of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph says there were 17 new cases yesterday. Active cases increased by 13 to a total of 68. There are still 3 people hospitalized.
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: Doug Ford via Twitter