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Faster vaccines alone could not have stopped third wave: deputy public health officer

A top federal public health official says a faster vaccine ramp-up alone would likely not have thwarted the third wave of COVID-19 in many parts of the country. 

Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo says vaccines are one tool but maintaining tight health measures is also crucial — especially with more transmissible and dangerous virus variants on the rise. 

Njoo made his remarks as Ontario reported a record-high of more than 4,700 new daily infections and 29 more deaths. 

Quebec, meanwhile, announced more than 1,500 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 more fatalities. 

Maj.-Gen Dany Fortin, the military commander in charge of Canada’s vaccine rollout, says 12.7 million doses have been distributed so far and the pace is to pick up in the coming weeks. 

He says a total of 17 million Pfizer-BioNTech doses are expected this quarter and 2.8 million doses of the Moderna shot are to arrive throughout May. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2021.  

The Canadian Press