Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Canada could see above 15K daily COVID-19 cases next month

OTTAWA — Canada’s chief public health officer says there is an urgent need for more people between 18 and 39 to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to reduce the impact of the Delta variant.

New modelling released by Dr. Theresa Tam today says if the current rate of transmission of COVID-19 remains the same, Canada could see more than 15,000 new cases a day by the beginning of October.

Tam says, however, that the vaccines are working incredibly well, with unvaccinated Canadians 12 times more likely to be infected and 36 times more likely to be hospitalized if they do get infected.

She says it is critical to get up to 80 per cent of all eligible age groups fully vaccinated as soon as possible.

Only about two in three Canadians between 18 and 39 are fully vaccinated now but they also tend to be the most mobile and have the most close contacts.

Tam says nobody wants wide-ranging lockdowns again and that can be avoided if we rapidly increase vaccinations, use masks, limit close contacts and maintain some limits on the size of public gatherings.