Coronavirus: Canadian health officials discuss COVID-19 vaccine, contact tracing app | FULL
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Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam and deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo provided a COVID-19 update on Tuesday, focusing on the development of a safe and effective vaccine, as well as addressing questions on the COVID Alert contact tracing app.
As of Sept. 1st, Canada has seen a total of 128,948 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Tam said they are still trying to determine the percentage of the population that should get vaccinated in order for it to be effective on a wide scale, but the international consensus is the 50 per cent mark. She said clinical trials will likely help in better knowing that percentage level. But in terms of countries impacted the most where population immunity also appears quite low, coronavirus vaccine uptake will be important.
She also spoke about the idea of herd immunity, calling it an "extremely difficult strategy." She said that the virus has the ability to take off “exponentially” and countries need to be careful as a transmission increase can hit a high-risk population “pretty fast.”
The country's top doctor also addressed the COVID Alert tracking app and questions on whether it was still an effective tool despite only 2.2 million downloads and 90 infections reported to the app.
She said that the app still needs time to determine effectiveness, in part because it's currently only in one province. She said uniform uptake may not be as needed, but it may be worth having it downloaded in certain populations like young adults who frequent places like restaurants, adding they may be more open to anonymously telling an app they have COVID-19 than giving information at such businesses.
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