From vaccine passports to a rise in vaccine appoints as well as Canada’s impending worst spike in case counts, here’s everything you need to know.
On September 1 the province announced they will be implementing a vaccine certificate program for select non-essential services. Come September 22, certain public settings and facilities will require Ontarians to provide proof of vaccination (two doses plus 14 days) along with photo ID. The digital verification app is said to release on October 22.
List of settings where being vaccinated is mandatory:
- Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery and takeout);
- Nightclubs (including outdoor areas of the establishment);
- Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres;
- Facilities used for sports and fitness activities and personal fitness training, such as gyms, fitness and recreational facilities with the exception of youth recreational sport;
- Sporting events;
- Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments;
- Concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas;
- Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs;
- Racing venues (e.g., horse racing).
Since the announcement on Wednesday Ontario has seen a spike in vaccine appointments. Just one day after the announcement was made, vaccine appointments doubled from 3,479 on August 31 to 7,125 on Sep 1.
As of Friday, 77.4% of people 12 and up in Ontario are fully vaccinated and 84% have received at least one dose. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieron Moore has advised that Ontario needs 90% of the eligible population to be fully vaccinated in order for COVID-19 to reach a point where it becomes difficult to spread rapidly.
According to Ontario’s Ministry of Health, there are only two eligible vaccine exceptions. Firstly, if an allergist or immunologist confirms that you are allergic to a component of the vaccine. Secondly, if you have suffered from myocarditis or pericarditis after the first dose.
Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch told CTV News Toronto, “From a medical exception standpoint, you either had a bad reaction to the first dose, or you have an allergy to a component of the vaccine, or you have a greater risk of having a negative impact because you have an underlying heart condition. That’s about it.”
On Friday, chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam urged young adults to get vaccinated as Labour Day weekend and a possible spike loom.
“This is a crucial moment,” said Dr. Tam. “We have a window of opportunity to rapidly accelerate vaccine uptake and close the protection gap in younger age groups with the lowest vaccine coverage.
Dr. Tam also released new data on Friday that suggests Canada could be facing its worst wave yet. If the rate of vaccination does not increase and stricter public health measures across Canada are not implemented, Canada could see up to 15,000 cases per day by the end of the month.
Deputy chief public health officer, Dr. Howard Njoo said, “If we continue on the path we are on now since reopening, we could expect to see a continued sharp increase in cases … reaching levels not seen before in Canada during the pandemic.”