Announcing standardized Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination for travel
As people know, Canada has been a world leader on vaccinations, and that’s just part of what Canadians were able to do through this pandemic, where we saw everyone, from frontline health workers, to community workers, to individual Canadians stepping up during this pandemic to be there for each other, to do the right things to get us through this. And it has culminated, of course, in vaccinations, as Canada is now among the world leaders in vaccination rates amongst eligible Canadians; that is 12 and older.
The government also… all orders of government have been there to support Canadians, particularly on the federal side, where we scrambled to deliver PPE, we scrambled to ensure that we have vaccines for everyone, and we're also ensuring booster shots for the coming years as they become necessary, listening to the expert advice that folks in NACI and other fields are going to be making on how we move forward.
But when we talk about the high vaccination rates of Canadians -- 82,85, 87% in various jurisdictions of Canadians fully vaccinated -- it's always eligible Canadians, because we know, particularly those of us who are parents, like I am of kids under 12, that not everyone can get vaccinated yet. We have heard that Pfizer has now submitted for regulatory approval at Health Canada, a pediatric vaccine for kids five to 11. And this is great news. I can assure you that Health Canada is going to be examining attentively that submission.
And even though I know parents are all going to be eager to get their kids vaccinated as quickly and as soon as possible, I want people to be patient, because Health Canada is going to be taking the time necessary to ensure that, like all vaccines approved for use in Canada, vaccines approved for kids five to 11 will be fully safe and effective. It is extremely important that they go through all the full processes necessary so that every parent can have confidence when these vaccines do get approved, that they will be safe for their children; to keep us all safe, to keep them safe, to keep our communities and schools safe as we move forward.
And therefore, what I'm very pleased to be announcing today is that we have worked directly with Pfizer, and shortly after the time comes for Health Canada to approve those vaccines for pediatric use, we will receive millions of doses in Canada, enough to get all kids under… between five and 11 vaccinated as quickly as possible.
We will have the supply necessary to support every kid across the country from five to 11 with vaccinations as soon as possible after Health Canada approved it.
This is good news today. Health Canada, as you know, is currently analyzing the data and carrying out the rigorous processes for approval of the Pfizer vaccine for kids five to 11. They’re going to take the time to make sure that it’s safe and effective, because all parents want their children to be safe but they don’t want to take risks either. So you can know that if and when Health Canada approves the use of Pfizer…the Pfizer vaccine for children, it’s going to be safe for your children.
At the same time, I can announce today that we have signed agreements with Pfizer so that as soon as it’s approved for use in Canada, very shortly after we will receive enough doses in Canada to ensure that all kids in Canada from five to 11 can be vaccinated. This is great news for all parents and children across the country because we have wanted for a long time now to ensure that our children have the extra protection that vaccination will give them, as more than 80% of adults in Canada have already done.
A few weeks ago, we made a number of promises regarding our priorities in terms of vaccination and the fight against COVID. We delivered on our promise to ensure a mandatory vaccination mandate for trains and planes, a mandatory vaccination mandate for public service workers, and today I’m pleased to be able to confirm a third component of that promise, which is the certification – or the uniform proof of vaccination for international travel, which will be available across the country.
We made a commitment to ensure that there is a national standard for a proof of vaccination certificate that will be issued by every province and territory so that people can travel domestically, but particularly internationally, and today I'm happy to confirm that all provinces and territories have confirmed that they will be moving forward with a standardized, national proof of vaccination. As of today, so far, we have Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and all three provinces… all three territories, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon, who already have put into use the national standard for proof of vaccination.
You can download it onto your phone, you can print it out, you can ask for a copy by mail if you don't have those capacities, but you are now able to show proofs of vaccination immediately in all those provinces. And all other provinces have agreed and are working hard to come online so that as Canadians look to start travelling again, there will be a standardized proof of vaccination certificate that, as we said, we will be picking up the tab for, at the federal level, to ensure that all provinces are able to do it, and we’ll also move forward on our other commitments we made around vaccinations and safety and COVID, which is moving forward on legislation to keep healthcare workers safe from intimidation and being hassled, so we can end this pandemic and get back to the things we love.
It's a reminder as well, as we move forward on all these measures, for folks who still haven't yet gotten their full vaccinations, please get yourself vaccinated. It's the way we can all get back to the things we love, avoid further lockdowns, and make sure that our economy comes roaring back and we're keeping our most vulnerable as protected as possible.
Third, and I’m going to hand it over to…very shortly here to Chrystia Freeland to talk more about that, but in terms of economic recovery, we have seen some good news. First of all, Canada has already recovered 100% of the jobs that were lost at the beginning of the pandemic. We are seeing many businesses, a lot of growth again throughout the economy, but we recognize that there are still sectors that are hard hit. We see, for example, the tourism industry, the restaurant industry, particularly in the downtown areas, still facing many challenges from the implications of COVID-19.
And we made a direct promise to Canadians that we were going to be there to support them for as long as necessary, but that we were also going to be there to ensure a strong and swift economic recovery, and so I’m very, very pleased to be able to turn it over to Minister Freeland to share the details of the next steps in our plan to fight COVID-19 and support Canadians while facilitating a strong and swift economic recovery.