Kids under 12 account for over 20% of new daily Covid cases in Canada

The PHAC said that Canadians under 12 represent 12% of the country's population of 38 million. There are about 4.3 million children under 12 who are not vaccinated in the country

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IANS

Children under the age of 12 now account for over 20 per cent of Canada's daily new cases coronavirus cases, health authorities have confirmed.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said Friday that Canadians under 12 represent 12 per cent of the country's population of 38 million. There are about 4.3 million children under 12 who are not vaccinated in the country, reports Xinhua news agency.

The over-representation is not unexpected, given the high level of vaccination in other age groups, the country's Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said at a press conference here on Friday.

Canada has ordered 2.9 million doses of Pfizer's vaccine for children. But it is still awaiting for approval from the Health Ministry.

More than 58.9 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered across Canada since vaccination began last December, according to the latest data from PHAC.

This means over 89 per cent of the eligible population -- those 12 and older -- have received at least one shot, while more than 84 per cent of eligible Canadians are fully vaccinated.

The latest PHAC data shows 4 million people have not yet received a single dose, while 1.5 million people are only partially vaccinated. There have been some outbreaks in schools and daycares in Canada. Tam said they have generally been small in size.

She said Covid-related deaths among young children happen rarely.

Over the past month, Tam said Canada has made good progress in slowing the growth of Covid-19 across Canada, but the rate of decline has "slowed somewhat".

Over the past week, an average of 2,230 new cases were being reported daily.

"This means we are about halfway down from the peak of the fourth wave when over 4,400 cases were being reported daily," Tam said.

Tam said the country could see some "bumps" in the trajectory of the pandemic in the months ahead, and noted that severe illness trends are "still elevated".


"This virus has proven time and time again that this virus could go through evolutions," she said. "It's possible that we could get different variants -- and we have to monitor that."

Since October, vaccination efforts and public health measures have helped to bring the fourth wave of the pandemic under control along the reduced transmission trajectory previously forecast, said PHAC.

The latest PHAC modeling shows if Canada continues along the path it is on now and maintains current levels of transmission, Canadians could expect to see around 1,000 new Covid cases daily by early December.

However, Tam warned that it's "still too soon to fully ease public health measures".

"Now is not the time to let our guard down. We may still be in for a challenging winter and maintaining a cautious approach can help keep us safer as we move indoors for the arrival of colder weather," she added.

Canada has so far reported a total of 1,726,671 Covid-19 cases, with 29,126 deaths.

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