Ontario’s top doctor issues a ‘call for arms’ to get vaccinated – StCatharinesStandard.ca

Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer, said that with more businesses expected to reopen later this month and schools returning in September, “time is of the essence” in getting vaccinated.

By Rob FergusonQueen’s Park Bureau

Tue., July 6, 20212 min. read

New figures show 83 per cent of Ontarians who caught COVID-19 recently had not been vaccinated, chief medical officer Dr. Kieran Moore says in his latest plea for people to get their shots.

“It’s a call for arms,” he told a weekly briefing Tuesday as Ontario reported nine more deaths from the virus, bringing the total to 9,224. “It’s our ticket out of this pandemic.”

With more businesses expected to reopen this month — including gyms and indoor restaurant dining — and schools returning in September, “time is of the essence” because it takes a couple of weeks after the second vaccination to develop full immunity and improve safety levels, Moore added.

The statistics on infection and vaccination involved 29,380 Ontarians with confirmed cases of COVID-19 from May 15 to June 12, a time when vaccination levels and availability of second doses were much lower than today.

Aside from the 83.2 per cent who were not vaccinated and caught the virus, 15.6 per cent had been partially vaccinated and 1.2 per cent were fully vaccinated, Moore said.

He noted the more highly contagious Delta variant “remains a difficult adversary” and is rising in other countries like Israel and England despite their high vaccination levels, with British computer modelling suggesting an increase in hospitalizations is looming.

“To sustain our progress we need to see continued improvement in vaccinations through the summer and into the fall,” Moore said. “It’s our collective responsibility.”

Ontario reported 244 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, which includes about 80 from last year in Toronto, making the actual daily level around 164 — the lowest since early September. The seven-day moving average of cases has dropped to 215 as hospitalizations and infections continue downward.

Moore said he issued the renewed plea for vaccinations because he is concerned the levels of people getting shots, averaging 205,000 daily in the last week, will “drop off” over the summer.

“We can never let our guard down with this virus,” he told reporters. “Every case in hospital and ICU (intensive care unit) and every death going forward can be prevented through building community immunity.”

In a reference to recent nursing home deaths from COVID-19, Moore acknowledged no vaccine is 100 per cent effective but said more people getting vaccinated will help reduce spread in long-term care and among people who cannot get shots for medical reasons, or who have compromised immune systems such as from cancer treatment.

“If you’re frail and you’re vulnerable you may have a risk of dying from this virus even with two doses.”



He urged people who are hesitant about getting one of the vaccines approved by Health Canada to talk to their doctor or pharmacist and also with friends and family who have been inoculated.

Almost 79 per cent of eligible adults in Ontario have received at least one dose of vaccine and 46.3 per cent are fully vaccinated.