Ontario hit its vaccination targets to enter Step 3 of its reopening plan on Wednesday, which is weeks ahead of schedule.
The province is currently in Step 1 of its phased three-step reopening plan, which uses vaccination milestones as one of the factors to lift restrictions.
As of Wednesday morning, 76% of Ontarians have received their first dose and 27% have completed their two-dose schedule, according to the province’s website.
Over 25% of Ontarians 18+ are fully vaccinated!
Ontario is accelerating 2nd doses to offer maximum protection against #COVID19 and variants. Every dose brings us one step closer to the things we’ve missed.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) June 23, 2021
These figures meet the Ontario reopening plan’s Step 3 target of having one-quarter of adults fully immunized and 70% to 80% vaccinated with a first dose.
But officials have said at least 21 days must pass between each step-wise transition to guard against opening too soon. Health experts also say the delay between steps is to give people time to build antibodies after receiving their shot. That usually takes about two weeks.
With Ontario moving to Step 1 on June 11, that means the earliest date the province could enter Step 2 is July 2.
- See also:
Premier Doug Ford has said he’d be willing to enter Step 2 early with approval from top doctors, but the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams has so far favoured staying the course.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said there has been discussion among Ontario mayors about opening personal care services such as hair salons a day or two earlier.
“If health and science numbers, and other analysis, allow for that I’m sure that’s what the province will do,” Tory said during his news conference Wednesday morning.
Although officials are talking about potentially reopening earlier, no decision has been made. Moving into further steps of reopening also depends on other indicators including COVID-19 case counts, hospitalizations, positivity rate, and the status of variants of concern.