Ontario is close to having two-thirds of the population fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Provincial statistics released Thursday show 7,925,787 people over the age of 18 (65.59 per cent of that population) have received two doses.
More than 80 per cent of the population has received one dose.
As of 8 p.m. on Wednesday, more than 18.6 million doses of vaccine had been delivered, including 125,166 doses administered on Wednesday, Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted.
Ontario reported 185 new cases and seven new deaths on Thursday.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 548,794 confirmed cases and 9,307 deaths in Ontario.
There have been 22 new confirmed cases in Grey Bruce, 18 in Toronto, 17 in Hamilton, 13 in Peel Region and 13 in the Waterloo region.
According to Public Health Ontario, nine new cases have been reported in Ottawa. The city’s public health authority reports its own numbers later Thursday.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit, which includes Cornwall and Hawkesbury, reported five new cases Thursday. There were no new cases in the three remaining health units in the Ottawa area.
As of Thursday, 140 people were hospitalized in the province with 141 in ICU due to COVID-related illness and 84 on a ventilator. (Ontario Public Health statistics of ICU hospitalizations and ventilator cases contain some patients who no longer test positive for COVID-19 but who are being treated for conditions caused by the virus.)
Meanwhile, Ontario’s science advisors say a proof-of-vaccination system would allow high-risk settings to reopen sooner with greater capacity.
The group says COVID-19 vaccine certificates would set up infrastructure to guide the reintroduction of public health measures if cases spike in the future.
Premier Doug Ford has said he won’t introduce a proof-of-vaccination system.
A recent science table brief differentiates between vaccine passports, which relate to travel, and vaccine certificates, an official document attesting someone has completed a vaccination series.
It says the certificates have been used in some jurisdictions to incentivize vaccination and in the long-term, would serve as a secure record of immunization.
The group cautions that privacy and equity concerns will need to be considered before a certificate system is implemented.
COVID-19 news in Ottawa
In Ottawa, Glebe-based Jabapalooza founder and family physician Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth is calling for volunteers to come down for shots of Moderna vaccine.
Kaplan-Myrth said she doesn’t want to waste a drop of vaccine.
We have extra #CovidVaccine at our office today in central #Ottawa. We don’t want a drop to go to waste. Moderna. Anyone 18 or over, 1st or 2nd dose. 109 Fourth Ave. Phone the office (613) 695-6687 and come by, between 1-7 pm. Have a #Jabapalooza shirt as a bonus!@VaxHuntersCan — Nili Kaplan-Myrth MD PhD (@nilikm) July 22, 2021
“Once we draw up a vial there are 14 (doses) per vial, so we won’t open the second or third vial if we don’t have any takers, but the first vial so far has only four people,” she explained on Thursday morning.
“The patients who are coming to our office don’t want to do anywhere else, so it is important for us to give them their shots here — just don’t want to waste the rest!” she said.
“It is so great that so many Ottawans have stepped up.”
Those 18 and over who want a first or second dose of Moderna can call ahead to Kaplan-Myrth’s office at 613-695-6687.
Latest COVID-19 news from Quebec
Quebec is reporting 99 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, with three more deaths.
It brings the total number of cases since the pandemic began to 376,429. The death toll is 11,238.
The province noted it had revised its case totals, and 189 cases were removed from cumulative list because they were duplicates.
There are 71 patients in hospital, a drop of one, and ICU cases are stable at 21 patients.
The province administered 105,088 doses administered for a total of 10,373,663 doses across the province.
-With files from The Canadian Press