New COVID-19 modelling exposes need for young people to get vaccinated

Chief Public Officer of Health Dr. Theresa Tam presents the latest federal COVID-19 modelling, September 3, 2021. Image from CPAC/YouTube.

The federal government is calling on young people to get vaccinated as the Delta variant spreads among the unvaccinated nationwide.

Canada’s Chief Public Officer of Health Dr. Theresa Tam, and Deputy Chief Public Officer of Health Dr. Howard Njoo presented the latest modelling on Friday, identifying concerning trends that show the Delta variant accounts for most new cases.

Modelling also provided the latest vaccination numbers, which Tam insisted are the best line of defence against the virus as Canada experiences the fourth wave.

“We know that the vaccines are very safe and that vaccinations remain our best protection against COVID-19, and the Delta variant,” said Tam.

Tam warned of increased hospitalizations throughout the fall and winter, although that could be headed off if more young people get the shot. The modelling took into account the easing of public health restrictions and the increased number of activities taking place outdoors and in public places, and young people are now the most likely age group to get the virus.

“Delta variant spread has accelerated quickly,” said Tam. “There is still a window of opportunity to reduce the rate of epidemic growth and get on a better trajectory by increasing vaccine uptake among adults aged 18 to 39 years. By speeding up the overall rate of vaccinations, we could dampen the resurgence to significantly reduce the risk of overwhelming hospital capacity.”

The modelling also showed that the vast majority of new cases are among unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people. Among those people, infections are increasing at a rate 12 times higher than those who are fully vaccinated. Hospitalizations are 36 times higher among unvaccinated people, according to Health Canada.

The latest modelling data can be found here.