Over half of all Canadians are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as case counts and hospitalizations continue to fall across the country.
As of Monday evening, 50.2 per cent of the entire population has received both required vaccine doses, according to the COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker. Over 57 per cent of the population that’s eligible for the vaccine — Canadians aged 12 and up — are fully vaccinated.
The number of people who have received at least one dose, meanwhile, is slowly approaching 70 per cent of the total population, or almost 80 per cent of the eligible population.
On Saturday, the share of the Canadian population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 surpassed the United States for the first time. In the U.S., just 48.6 per cent of all Americans have received both doses, only growing by 0.2 per cent since the weekend.
Last Monday, Canada surpassed 50 per cent of its eligible population with two doses.
Second dose inoculations continue to climb at a steady pace in Canada, nearly tripling over the past 30 days. First doses, however, have begun to flatline, only growing by four per cent over the same time period.
The pace that Canada is doling out vaccinations has also begun to drop. The country is now administering about 1.04 doses per 100 people every day, compared to a daily rate of 1.44 per capita at the end of June.
The pace is still one of the fastest in the world, however, and is seven times greater than that of the United States, which has run into resistance getting some portions of its population vaccinated.
Canada’s latest vaccine milestone comes as just 346 new cases of COVID-19 were reported across the country Monday, along with 15 new deaths since Friday.
As of Monday, the seven-day average of new infections stands at 395 per day — a rate not seen since mid-to-late August of 2020. It’s also a 95-per cent drop from the height of the record-setting third wave in April.
Hospitalizations also fell below 500 patients nationwide over the weekend for the first time since late September 2020. During the third wave, there were close to 5,000 patients in hospital.
As of Monday, 188 of patients currently hospitalized are in intensive care, also marking a major drop from the spring. The country is also now seeing an average of nine deaths per day, compared to over 50 in late April.
The falling case counts and rise in second vaccine doses are leading to more public health restrictions being lifted, both provincially and federally.
On Monday, Ottawa announced that fully-vaccinated travellers from the U.S. can enter Canada for non-essential travel starting Aug. 9.
While those travellers won’t have to quarantine upon entry, they’ll still have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test and enter proof of their vaccination status through the ArriveCAN app.
Officials said Canada is also on track to begin accepting fully vaccinated travellers from other countries around the world in early September.
The news is being met with relief from many border communities that rely on U.S. tourism and where families have been separated by the border restrictions for the past 16 months.
Provincial restrictions are also continuing to lift across the country. Manitoba was the latest to enter the next step of its reopening plan over the weekend, easing capacity limits for businesses and public gatherings.
The province reported 37 new cases on Monday, while also announcing a death that occurred on Sunday.
Further west, Saskatchewan announced 16 new cases and no new deaths, while Alberta reported 38 more infections on Monday and British Columbia added another 40. Both Alberta and B.C. saw two new deaths over the weekend.
Ontario saw 130 more cases and also did not report any new deaths Monday, while Quebec added 61 new infections and reported a new death had occurred over the weekend.
Only four new cases were reported in Atlantic Canada, all in Newfoundland and Labrador onboard a ship docked off the province. The ship is the third in Newfoundland waters to see a COVID-19 outbreak since last month.
The Yukon announced 20 new cases had been confirmed since Friday. It was the only northern territory to report new infections Monday.
To date, Canada has seen a total of 1,423,909 cases of COVID-19. Of those, 26,504 people have died and 1,392,798 have recovered from the disease.
The global pandemic has led to over 190.8 million cases and more than 4,095,000 deaths around the world, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.