The percentage of Ontarians who’ve been vaccinated suddenly got more interesting this week after the province released a reopening plan tied to immunization rates.
Hitting milestones for the proportion of adults with a first and second dose now offers more than just feelings of hope — the figures are directly tied to more restrictions relaxing.
But Ontario doesn’t neatly present vaccination rates by first and second dose on its COVID-19 dashboard at the moment — instead it tracks by the number of doses administered.
One could always do a rough calculation by dividing the number of doses administered by Ontario’s population — which is approximately 14.7 million according to Statistics Canada.
Officials also sometimes provide updates on vaccination rates at briefings. Health Minister Christine Elliott said Thursday about 58% of adults have a first dose and that’s expected to climb to 65% by the end of May.
But for those who want to keep a closer eye on vaccination rates, luckily there are a few online tools to help.
Government of Canada tracker
The federal government tracks infection and vaccination data country-wide with a handy interactive map.
The only problem is that it’s not updated very frequently. Right now it pegs Ontario as having 39% of adults vaccinated as of May 8, which is much less than provincial officials are reporting.
COVID-19 Tracker Canada
This volunteer-run site looks at regional data, and currently says 49% of Ontarians have received a first dose — which again is lower than the up-to-date numbers shared by provincial officials.
High vaccination rates needed to relax restrictions
Canadian officials have said many times that the country will need high rates of vaccination to have a more normal summer. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this month that at least 75% of Canadians will need to have a first dose in order to have a good summer.
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Ontario’s target to move into Step 1 of its reopening plan is having 60% of adults get a first dose. The province may cross that threshold this weekend, but officials plan to wait until at least June 14 to proceed to allow those vaccinated individuals time to develop immunity.
When 70% of adults have a first dose and 20% have a second dose, Ontario can move to Step 2. That will involve more outdoor activities and some indoor activities to resume.
When 70 to 80% of adults have a first dose and 25% have a second, more indoor activities can resume and larger outdoor gatherings can take place.
All adults in Ontario are now eligible to book a vaccine appointment, and the province plans to open up eligibility to youth age 12 to 17 next week.