Ontario, the virus recedes. “Vaccine to children as soon as possible”
TORONTO – Infections still on the decline in Ontario, while Toronto is already preparing to vaccinate under-12s, as soon as the administration is authorized, because in fact the vast majority of cases are registered among the unvaccinated and, in particular, among children. But let’s go in order.
Ontario recorded 466 new infections (and 11 deaths) today, a notable drop from 613 on Monday, 653 on Sunday, 640 on Saturday, 727 on Friday and the already low 574 a week ago. The seven-day moving average is now 606, down sharply from the 710 level a week ago. The positivity rate also falls: with the 23,785 tests processed today, it is 2.1%, down from 2.4% a week ago.
Of the latest cases, 277 were detected in unvaccinated people, 27 in partially vaccinated individuals, 119 fully vaccinated and 43 with unknown vaccination status. About 30% of all Ontarians are not vaccinated, including children under 12 who are not yet eligible. Well, of the latest cases, 87 are among children between 0 and 11 years, 52 are among individuals between 12 and 19 years, 163 are between 20 and 39 years, 115 are between 40 and 59 years, 38 are between 60 and 79 years and 11 are 80 years old and over. And also today Ontario reported that 280 of the new cases were located in 4,844 public schools across the province.
So it is no coincidence that Toronto health officials are preparing to vaccinate the more than 200,000 eligible children between the ages of 5 and 11 in the city against Covid-19, as soon as possible. To this end, a vaccination planning group has already been formed, which includes health partners, school boards, community representatives and the Ontario Ministry of Health. Health Canada has yet to approve a Covid vaccine for children of the age group, but Pfizer – which has already stated that its vaccine works for children between the ages of 5 and 11 – is in the process of getting the authorization from US officials, so that time may be near for Canada as well.
And the city of Toronto wants to be ready: “We continue to do everything possible as a city government to fight Covid-19 and save lives. Toronto Public Health has formed this vaccination planning group so that our city is ready to help children get vaccinated as quickly as possible following the necessary approvals from Health Canada”, Mayor John Tory said on Monday, adding that “this will help keep our children safe and provide greater protection in our schools and communities across the city”.
Returning to today’s cases, in the Greater Toronto Area, 138 were registered in Toronto, 39 in the Peel region, 21 in the York region, 19 in Durham and 18 in Halton. Elsewhere in southern Ontario, Ottawa has reported 31 cases, a further 31 have been recorded in Windsor-Essex and 25 in Hamilton.
There are now 315 Covid-19 patients in Ontario hospitals and 180 in intensive care units. Of those in ICU, as many as 172 are either not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and only 8 are fully vaccinated. So far, nearly 86 percent of Ontarians 12 years of age or older have received one dose of the vaccine, and 80 percent have received two.
Meanwhile, even in Quebec the virus seems to be receding: today 469 new cases (and 6 deaths) were recorded against 519 on Monday, marking the lowest count recorded in a single day in the province since August. The province has distributed another 6,629 doses of the vaccine in the past 24 hours. More than 12.8 million shots have been administered to date: 89.3 percent of residents aged 12 and over have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 85.2 percent are considered fully vaccinated.