A man and boy walk into the Bill-Durnan COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Monday, May 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

A man and boy walk into the Bill-Durnan COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Monday, May 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Half of all Canadians have had 1 COVID-19 shot; full reopening still months off

20 million people have had a shot, close to two-thirds of those aged 12 and older

More than half of all people in Canada have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as the country edges closer to lifting anti-pandemic restrictions, health authorities reported on Wednesday.

In all, 20 million people have had a shot, close to two-thirds of those aged 12 and older. Children under 12 won’t become eligible to be vaccinated for several more months.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam wants to see three-quarters of the population fully vaccinated before most restrictions are lifted.

Provinces have already begun easing restrictions, with some announcing various reopening plans that depend on higher vaccination rates and falling case counts.

British Columbia announced a four-step plan for reopening which, if all goes well, sets Labour Day as a target for the final stage to begin, which would include allowing live entertainment.

Ontario, which has eased up on outdoor recreation, is planning a three-stage reopening, beginning middle of next month, while Quebec is aiming to see the province out of its highest alert level on June 7. Quebec is planning to relax restrictions in eight regions as of Monday.

The vaccination milestone came as Ontario reported another 135,308 people received a shot.

The vaccination rollout was also making good progress among Indigenous adults, with more than three-quarters now having received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said Indigenous people in Manitoba, which has the highest rate of new coronavirus infections in the country, can book their second shots. Manitoba said second doses area available for anyone who received a first dose on or before March 29.

Despite the ongoing vaccination progress, COVID-19 continues to sicken and kill people. Ontario, for example, reported 1,095 new cases on Wednesday, and 23 more related deaths. The Ministry of Health said 1,073 people were in hospital because of the disease, with 672 in intensive care and 469 on ventilators.

Quebec reported 308 new cases and another four deaths. COVID-19 patients needing hospital care fell by 16 to 399, although 101 remained in intensive care.

A new report from Statistics Canada found the pandemic hit women slightly harder than men in terms of employment. The agency said women accounted for 53.7 per cent of year-over-year employment losses from March 2020 to February 2021.

Relatively more women work at small firms in service industries, which, StatCan said, had been hit hardest during the pandemic.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirusvaccines

Just Posted

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

File photo
Update: Leduc RCMP request assistance to identify armed robbery suspect

Leduc RCMP are searching for suspect involved in an armed robbery at the Leduc Giant Tiger.

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

Most Read