Health officials warned last week against loosening public health measures as new COVID-19 variants spread across Canada. Now, one official predicts herd immunity targets for vaccinations will also creep to higher levels.
Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser with Health Canada, pictured in December 2020, says 'a lot of people' are refining estimates of herd immunity targets. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
Health officials are tweaking their estimates of herd immunity targets in Canada to up to 90 per cent in the face of emerging COVID-19 variants, members of the House Health Committee heard Monday.
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While a ‘missed opportunity’ in the earlier days of the pandemic, some observers worry tying strings to provincial and territorial access to potentially life-saving vaccines could be seen as ‘unethical.’
With so much of everyday life migrating online due to the pandemic, says Michael Edwards of Sussex Strategy, the potential for engaging political supporters who weren’t initially comfortable doing transactions has grown.
Conservatives say sending the bill to the Ethics Committee is an attempt to distract the committee from its ongoing work on the WE Charity controversy, while Liberals say Ethics is the natural spot for a privacy bill.
‘I don’t need to hear from Chrystia Freeland … about their most recent budget for 90 minutes in order to understand the decision about prorogation,’ says NDP MP Daniel Blaikie of a Liberal-suggested compromise.