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Over half of Canadians receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-05-23 07:38
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Ontario Premier Doug Ford receives the Astrazeneca-Oxford coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on April 9, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

OTTAWA - About 50.08 percent of Canada's population were administered with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 4.3 percent with second dose as of Saturday afternoon, according to CTV.

The country, with a population of 38 million, has administered more than 20 million vaccine doses.

"This past week we marked some incredible milestones in COVID-19 vaccines delivery and vaccination coverage, including delivery of 4.5 million doses of vaccines ahead of the long weekend and reaching 20 million vaccines administered across the country," according to the Public Health Agency of Canada on Saturday.

As vaccine delivery continues to ramp up at an accelerated pace, said Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam on Saturday, "there is increasing optimism that widespread and lasting immunity can be achieved through COVID-19 vaccination."

"Benefits are being seen among groups targeted for priority vaccination and as vaccine coverage increases across Canada, we can expect further benefits to protect more Canadians over the coming weeks and months," Tam added.

Health Canada said it would like to see at least 75 percent of eligible Canadians aged 12 and up vaccinated with one dose and 20 percent fully inoculated before anti-COVID-19 measures are relaxed.

As of Saturday afternoon, Canada reported 3,647 new cases of the COVID-19, bringing the cumulative total to 1,355,765 cases, including 25,203 deaths, according to CTV.

The country's latest national-level data show continued declines in disease activity with an average of 5,004 cases reported daily during the latest seven-day period (May 14-20), a decrease of 26 percent compared to the week prior, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada on Saturday.

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