Canadians are set to see a big push across the country to get vaccines in arms this Father's Day weekend, from an overnight clinic in British Columbia to a pop-up clinic in Montreal targeting hockey fans.
This comes as federal officials say Canada will have enough product on hand by the end of July to fully vaccinate every person eligible for a shot, thanks in large part to Moderna offering a firmer commitment on deliveries in the last two weeks of this month and into July.
The government originally projected being able to fully vaccinate all Canadians by the end of September, meaning the country is on track to finish the two-dose regimen roughly two months earlier than planned.
In the meantime, various jurisdictions are stepping up efforts to encourage vaccination. Fraser Health is hosting a 32-hour "vax-a-thon" in Surrey, B.C., this weekend at Guildford Recreation Centre, beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
The health authority is promising live music and door prizes, plus an overnight "mask-erade" complete with red carpet and selfie station beginning at 8 p.m.
Meanwhile, another "Jabapalooza" pop-up vaccination clinic is taking place in Ottawa on Saturday to give more than 500 people their second doses.
Sun’s shining! 588 people coming to today’s <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jabapalooza?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Jabapalooza</a> for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CovidVaccine?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CovidVaccine</a> boosters. <a href="https://twitter.com/Chamberfest?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Chamberfest</a> is playing on our porch. We’re raising funds through shirts for a local Muslim women’s shelter. Volunteers are here. <a href="https://twitter.com/SJA_Ottawa?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SJA_Ottawa</a> is here. <a href="https://twitter.com/TekSavvyBuzz?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TekSavvyBuzz</a> has us covered. Let’s do this! <a href="https://t.co/jb8P3VjXFj">pic.twitter.com/jb8P3VjXFj</a>
And in Montreal, a regional health board is setting up a vaccination clinic just outside the Bell Centre on Saturday and Sunday in the hopes of drawing hockey fans in attendance for Canadiens playoff games.
The goal is to provide people with a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and no appointments are needed. The vaccination site will be open both days from 5 to 9 p.m.
What's happening across Canada
As of 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, Canada had reported 1,407,277 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 12,805 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 26,023. More than 31.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far across the country, according to CBC's vaccine tracker.
Ontario on Friday recorded 345 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death. The province also reported a second straight day of more than 210,000 vaccinations.
More than 20 per cent of Ontarians aged 18 and older have now had two shots — one of the primary criteria laid out by the province for advancing into the next phase of reopening.
Quebec on Friday reported 127 new cases and two new deaths, as Canadiens interim head coach Dominique Ducharme missed Game 3 of Montreal's third-round playoff series against the Vegas Golden Knights after testing positive for COVID-19.
In Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia reported 11 new cases on Friday, while New Brunswick reported three new cases. Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island each reported no new cases.
Manitoba on Friday reported 189 new COVID-19 cases and four related deaths. Some doctors in the province are urging Premier Brian Pallister's government to back off plans to reopen the economy on July 1 until COVID-19 numbers drop much further.
Saskatchewan reported 98 new cases and one related death on Friday. The province is set to move to Step 2 of its reopening strategy on Sunday, which means retail and personal care service businesses will no longer have capacity thresholds, although staff and customers must remain two metres apart.
Alberta reported 124 new cases and three related deaths on Friday, as Premier Jason Kenney announced that almost all COVID-19 public health restrictions will be liftedon Canada Day.
The vaccine threshold required for the final stage of the province's three-step reopening plan was met on Thursday, when more than 70 per cent of eligible Albertans had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
British Columbia reported 109 new cases and one related death on Friday.
In the North, Yukon added eight new cases among residents overnight and diagnosed one case that came from outside the territory. Dawson City's mayor is calling on revellers to tone it down and play it safe during the long weekend in light of Yukon's COVID-19 outbreak.
Nunavut and the Northwest Territories did not report any new cases on Friday.
What's happening around the world
As of Saturday morning, a database of COVID-19 cases showed more than 177.8 million cases reported worldwide. The Johns Hopkins University tracker put the reported global death toll at more than 3.8 million.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said plans to hold mass public viewings of the Olympics at six sites have been cancelled, as worries grow about the coronavirus pandemic amid one of the slowest vaccine rollouts in the developed world. Koike said the sites will instead be offered as vaccination sites.
In the Middle East, fresh COVID-19 vaccine supplies are accelerating inoculations in Oman, which has had the slowest rollout in the Gulf due to procurement difficulties, a government health official said, as a surge in cases puts hospitals under pressure.
Since it began vaccinating in May, Oman has given at least one dose to about 15 per cent of the eligible population, Zahir Ghassan al-Abri at the Ministry of Health told Reuters. Oman will on Sunday offer shots to people over 45.
In the Americas, Brazil's government said Friday that 82 people connected with the Copa America soccer tournament had contracted COVID-19, an increase of 16 infections from the previous day.
In Africa, Uganda is tightening its lockdown measures to try to stem a surge in coronavirus infections in the East African country, which is seeing an array of variants.
The measures announced late Friday by President Yoweri Museveni include a ban on private and public transportation within and across districts, including in the capital Kampala. Only vehicles carrying cargo and those transporting the sick or essential workers are permitted to operate on the roads.
In Europe, the Dutch government is dropping almost all of its remaining coronavirus restrictions, with the exception of physical distancing, starting June 26 as vaccinations gather pace and infection rates fall sharply.
Dutch caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Friday that beginning next Saturday, people will no longer need to wear face masks at indoor public places where physical distancing is possible. Masks will still be mandatory on public transport and at the country's airports.
With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters
Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca