May 13, 2021

Doug Ford Press Conference Ontario, CA COVID-19 Update Transcript May 13

Doug Ford Press Conference Ontario, CA COVID-19 Update Transcript May 13
RevBlogTranscriptsCanada COVID-19 Briefing TranscriptsDoug Ford Press Conference Ontario, CA COVID-19 Update Transcript May 13

Ontario, Canada Premier Doug Ford held a press conference on May 13, 2021 to provide updates on COVID-19. Read the transcript of the briefing here.

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Doug Ford: (01:48)
Well, good afternoon. We’ve made some extremely hard choices in order to protect the hospitals. We’ve all made great sacrifices to stop the rampant spread of COVID-19 variants. We put in place some of the toughest public health measures anywhere in the country. Today, I can say they’re working. The situation is slowly trending in a better direction.

Doug Ford: (02:17)
Make no mistake, we’re not out of the woods yet. Our hospitals are still under immense pressure. The spread of variants remains a major concern. So we must stay vigilant. We must keep doing what we’re doing and what’s working. We need to do everything in our power to protect this summer for all Ontarians. My goal is to have the most normal July and August possible. Obviously that won’t mean large sporting events or concerts, but if we manage the next few weeks properly, I believe that we can have things in a very good place this summer.

Doug Ford: (02:59)
To do so, we need to keep driving cases down and easing the pressure on our hospitals. We need to maintain the stay-at-home order in all public health measures until at least June the 2nd. These are precious weeks we won’t put the waste. Each and every day, over 130,000 people are getting the vaccine. That’s why I expect that by June the 2nd, so long as we stay the course, we will be able to reopen outdoor recreation. And by then, we will provide more details on our plan to carefully and safely begin to reopen the province in the days and weeks to follow.

Doug Ford: (03:45)
Friends, I know we’re all eager to get back to some sense of normal, but at a time when contagious variants pose real risks to our province, we can’t rush to reopen. Of course, the school situation remains a critical concern for many parents. On the one hand, we have some doctors saying they want to open the schools. On the other hand, we have the teachers unions saying we can’t do that right now. We need public health doctors, teachers, and labor partners to agree on the best path forward, and we also need consensus. And we simply don’t have that right now. So for the time being, we will need to continue with virtual learning.

Doug Ford: (04:37)
We will take this time to vaccinate as many teachers and students as possible. Starting may the 31st, youth between 12 and 17 years of age and their family members who have not received the vaccine will be able to book an appointment to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. This is our best tool to ensure we have a safe and healthy return in-person learning for all teachers and students.

Doug Ford: (05:07)
There’s no question we’re on the right path. We’re making tremendous progress, but one thing threatens all the progress we’ve made. One thing threatens the summer everyone hopes to have, and that’s the weak and porous border measures that the federal government has kept in place. The reality is existing border measures have failed to keep the contagious variants out of Canada. The evidence is clear. We know it and they know it. And this brutal third wave is fueled almost entirely by variants that pass too easily through our borders.

Doug Ford: (05:50)
Our government has made three formal requests for more measures at the border. Weeks have gone by, and we’re just hearing crickets. It isn’t up to one province to determine national border restrictions. The federal government needs to step up and do what’s right and what’s necessarily. Simply put, it’s their job and they need to do it.

Doug Ford: (06:15)
Since our first request, we’ve seen disturbing reports that over 88,000 travelers entering Canada, one-third of travelers on international flights have been able to bypass the mandatory three-day hotel requirement. We have private jets landing all over the province at smaller airports from Hawaii, Arizona, and other sunny destinations. This is not emergency travel. They’ve created a two-tier quarantine system. If you can afford a private jet, you get to skip the quarantine.

Doug Ford: (06:51)
There are two sets of rules right now, one for the people who can afford a private jet, and one for the rest of us. And this is unacceptable. It’s people easily exploiting well-known loopholes that have been left in place. This cannot continue. We see the devastation unfolding in India. This is a warning of what happens when these variants take hold and begin to spread. And the federal government needs to protect us all from a fourth wave fueled by a vaccine-resistant variant.

Doug Ford: (07:28)
We won’t relent on this. We cannot allow this progress we’ve all made be undone. Too much has been sacrificed and we must do everything in our power to keep people safe and protect our summer. Thank you, and God bless the people of Ontario.

Doug Ford: (07:47)
I’ll take questions.

Speaker 1: (07:48)
First question, please.

Speaker 2: (07:52)
First question from [Randy Wrath 00:07:52] at SageTV. Please go ahead.

Doug Ford: (07:56)
Hi, Randy.

Randy Wrath: (07:56)
Hi, Premier. I’m wondering why you haven’t opened sports fields and that sort of thing? Because there’s a lot of pressure coming from mayors and various doctors and even the [inaudible 00:08:11] to do so. And when you say you expect them to open by June 2nd, what do you expect to be able to open on June 2nd? Would that include golf courses? Just go into a little bit more detail on that, please.

Doug Ford: (08:25)
Sure. No, I appreciate it, and you know something, I get it from both sides, Randy. I get some docs saying, “No, we have to limit mobility and stay at home.” And I know, I talk to my buddies. I know what happens. They pick up another buddy, two or three, they go out, go golfing, and there’s nothing wrong with golfing. The problem is the mobility. Then after golf, they go back, they have a few pops. That’s the problem.

Doug Ford: (08:54)
So that that’s the issue and what we need, we’re just asking people … I understand, believe me, the weather’s nice. Everyone wants to get out. I’d love to get out golfing. I’m a terrible golfer, but I’d love to get a golfing. And right now, the ICU’s are still at risk. I think yesterday’s number was 805, and that’s not good. As much as we’re seeing in decline, which is good, everyone is moving forward. We’re getting the vaccines into people’s arms, but we just can’t risk it. Just hang in there for us. We aren’t asking a lot, just a couple more weeks and we’ll do everything we can to get things back to normal.

Doug Ford: (09:34)
Now I’ll pass it over to Dr. Williams.

Dr. Williams: (09:47)
So I think, as the Premier said, we’re looking at our numbers. We’re coming down steadily, making progress. We came down from close to 4,000 a day. Today, we’re posting again 2,759. So we’ve made …

Dr. Williams: (10:03)
… 2,759. So we’ve made progress. We’re not out of the woods at this stage. our ICU numbers have backed off. That’s encouraging, but if you look at our numbers now, we’re about where we were at the peak of the second wave. So we’ve come down, but we have a ways to go yet, but we’re doing and all of you are doing a great job at steadily working on this progress. At the same time, the vaccine program is really rolling out and people are signing up, looking up, coming out, rolling up their sleeves, and getting vaccinated. That number is going up as well. Our percent positivity today is under 6%. We haven’t seen that for a long time. That’s also encouraging. So we’ve had these encouraging things. When you’re opening up a lot of facilities and that, as the Premier said, it’s not sometimes the activity.

Dr. Williams: (10:50)
It’s what’s the congregate activity that’s before, after, and during some sports event, especially teams, where there’s a lot of close contact. How does one do that in a certain situation, especially when, at this stage, around 50% have been vaccinated. We’re heading up, trying to get up to 65% to 70% by the end of the month. So these are very important times. We’re in this transition period, and we hope that by the 2nd of June we will be in a much better position if we continue to be steadfast and follow what we’re doing now. So, again, keep up the good work. We’re progressing. We’re getting there, but we’re not quite there yet.

Speaker 3: (11:28)

Randy: (11:30)
Yes, thank you. I’m also wondering, are you worried about mass civil disobedience on the 24th of May weekend? I mean, people that are pretty much had it with this staying by themselves and not gathering with their friends. Are you prepared to ramp up enforcement in the upcoming holiday weekend to try and quell that sort of activity?

Doug Ford: (11:52)
I’ve always believed, Randy, people are working hard throughout this whole pandemic. Look at all our frontline healthcare workers and the vaccination centers. If you sit back and you think sometimes it’s 140,000, 130,000 needles in a 12 hour span. I just want to thank them. They’re doing an incredible job. I’ve talked to so many people. They’re so polite. You get in, you get out. And I’m just so grateful for that, for them putting the needles in arms. But it goes back to these variants. As hard as they’re all working, we can’t have these variants coming in on a daily basis. You look at the borders, we have two sets of rules. One, that you fly in to Pearson, and we know one-third aren’t staying in quarantine, they’re just walking away. On the other hand, on the land border, we see hundreds of taxis going down there and Ubers, and everyone else picking people up.

Doug Ford: (13:06)
Buffalo Airport is the second largest airport for Ontario now, and that’s just wrong. And we just need the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to fix the problem. It’s a federal issue. I’ve sent him four letters, April the 22nd, I think April 26 and April the 29th and May the 12th, and we’re asking some simple things. Mandatory pre-departure PCR testing for all domestic air travel. As I mentioned earlier, we’ve got to close the loopholes that Canada’s international land borders with three day hotel quarantine. The other one, we have to reduce international travel to stop the importation of further variants. And just think of this, Randy, one in three international air travelers are avoiding the quarantine system and there’s been no explanation of why.

Doug Ford: (14:00)
We had to implement PCR testing ourselves. We had to go into International Airport Pearson for international travelers. We had to vaccinate our, as far as I’m concerned, frontline heroes, the CBSA officers, these are champions. We had a phone call saying the feds aren’t vaccinating, so we stepped in and helped them. We had to vaccinate temporary foreign workers, and I just don’t believe a one dose summer, it’s just not good enough. If we get the supply, I’ll put it this way, we get the supply we will work our backs off to have a two dose summer instead of a one dose summer.

Speaker 3: (14:42)
Next question.

Speaker 4: (14:45)
Next question from Lorenda Reddekopp at CBC. Please go ahead.

Doug Ford: (14:49)
Hi, Lorenda.

Lorenda Reddekopp: (14:50)
Hi there, Premier and Dr. Williams. Is there any chance that schools will open up in June?

Doug Ford: (14:56)
Well, again, I’ll pass it over to Dr. Williams in a minute, we have some docs that are saying yes, but then we have the teacher’s union that wants to potentially put an injunction against opening the schools. I just need the labor leaders to sit down with the docs and come up with a solution. I’ll pass this over to Dr. Williams.

Dr. Williams: (15:30)
So it certainly is a question that is foremost on my mind. I know I’ve had discussions with Minister Lecce and with their staff, Deputy Naylor and others, on this. I’ve talked to our public health units a few weeks ago with the case numbers really high. One reason we did go with closing schools is that our numbers went way up throughout the province and our ability to case contact management to keep the schools safe as they had been was starting to wane. And they were not sure what the volume load they could keep that up. I’m getting a lot more messaging from my Medical Officer of Health throughout the province that they say we’re now back into a level where we think we can start to deal with that. So we’re in live discussions with them to say if and when we are ready to do that, can you do it, do all the case, contact management? All those systems that are in place within the schools are safe.

Dr. Williams: (16:19)
And to do that. And then, of course, going through vaccinating a number of the teaching staff and academic staff, as well as administration. So all those things are moving along in a good direction, but we’re going to have to have some more discussions both with our public health units, with the Ministry of Education to determine when’s the best time and the right time, because our schools were safe and we want them to open and stay open because we feel very important to have our children back in schools and to maintain the safety record we’ve had up to now. And we want to do that assuredly on a go-forward basis.

Speaker 3: (16:51)
Follow up

Lorenda Reddekopp: (16:54)
Premier, after being available for media questions during the first and second wave, over the past month you’ve almost disappeared from the public eye. Though tonight you will make time for party supporters at a fundraiser, but your media briefing taking questions are rare. Some suggest you’re playing politics at a time when polls show that your popularity has gone way down. Why aren’t you speaking directly to Ontarians as frequently anymore as you were earlier in this ongoing pandemic?

Doug Ford: (17:25)
Well, first of all, I was in quarantine for a couple of weeks and I did speak to the media. And if I go back, there’s no Premier in the country that have done more press conferences than I have. I have very capable and incredible Ministers that are out there. They’re working their backs off. And make no mistake about it, we’re all working day in and day out right till midnight every single night. So we’re going to continue working hard and I’ll be out answering any questions. But, again, I want to thank both my Ministers here that been working extremely hard and doing an incredible job.

Speaker 3: (18:02)
Next question.

Speaker 4: (18:04)
Next question from the Nicole Lampa at CTV News. Please go ahead.

Nicole Lampa: (18:09)
Hi, Premier. Good afternoon. What levels do we have to reach ICUs, hospitalizations, and case counts on June 2nd in order for the stay at home order and lockdown to be lifted. And can we expect that returned to the color coded system?

Doug Ford: (18:27)
Well, before I pass it over to Minister of Health, again, we just want to make sure over the next couple of weeks that we get as many people vaccinated as possible. We want to see the numbers go down even further because that’s what’s happening right now. They’re trending down, but we just can’t open up too quickly. We just can’t. I want to make sure everyone has the best July and August and get back to as normal as we can for those two months. And over the next couple of weeks, we’ll look at the numbers on June 2nd and we’ll see where we go from there. But I’ll pass it to the Minister of Health.

Christine Elliott: (19:11)
Thank you. Well, first, we do need to see an increase in the vaccination rate and we are well on track to vaccinate 65% of Ontarians over age 18 by the end of May. But we also need to see lower numbers in the cases rate, lower numbers of hospitalizations, lower numbers of people in our intensive care units as well. We need to do this to make sure that our health system can deal with this capacity, but I would turn it over to Dr. Williams for more specific information on rates and numbers.

Dr. Williams: (19:54)
So the question you’re asking is the metrics that we look at to see how things might work. As we talked about before, about not the switch, but the dimmer switch.

Dr. Williams: (20:03)
… work. As we talked about before about not the switch, but the dimmer switch, and how do we move from one to the other? And we’ll utilize the framework when we look at some other things? So our tables are meeting and discussing that right now, because unlike in the past, we’re in a different reality now. We’re in a vaccinated reality. How does that work? And we’re trying to make sure we understand that in conjunction with our federal, provincial, territorial partners in other provinces and that, what is happening there? As you get above certain levels, how does that affect your overall numbers as far as hospitalizations as Minister Elliott has alluded to. Hospitalizations only, but ICU admissions, and is it presenting differently? How’s it presenting as far as cases and contacts, percent positivity? These are all very important things as we see how a percent coverage, as you said, the target we just heard from Mr. Elliott of 65% by the end of this month, that is a terrific goal to reach. That changes things considerably.

Dr. Williams: (20:58)
That means the number of metrics and different points have to be brought into consideration. So we’re hoping by we get to June the second, in that time we would like to see our numbers down a lot more. As I said before, we are down at 2,750, that is about just below the peak of around the second wave. Everybody thinks that’s great from where we came from and that’s true, but we still have a ways to get back down, because we didn’t get all the way out of the second way before we went into the third wave. We do not want to repeat that again. We want to come down. If we’re going to open things up with the dimmer switch, we want to open and stay open.

Dr. Williams: (21:36)
We want to make sure our places are intact and we do not want a fourth wave at all. And we certainly do not want one to occur right in the middle as we’re coming out of a third wave. We cannot really have that happen. So we’re going to be moving in a steady and slow motion, steadily progressing forward, moving things, turn up the dial on number of aspects there as we get more and more information as the data shows us that we’re winning on all fronts, not just on one or two metrics alone. The other ones are important. So we’re going to be updating you with those data points as soon as we can. And even some more with our modeling in the future to see how we’re projecting and how we’re achieving those goals that were seeing before. And are we winning? I think we are, but we want to see some more evidence of that.

Speaker 5: (22:21)
Follow up.

Speaker 6: (22:24)
Over the past few weekend here in Waterloo region, we have seen really long lineups at garden centers, despite the stay at home order. Lineups that we saw similar to what were seen at malls or shops, but those retailers are closed. Many people are wondering isn’t this mixed messaging in regards to the stay at home order? And what advice do you have for people who are going to garden centers? Because the weather is just going to be nice for the next few weekends now.

Doug Ford: (22:52)
I’ll pass that to the minister of health.

Christine Elliott: (23:00)
Well, we do want people to be able to go outdoors to do gardening. I know that’s something that this time of year is very important to many people, but we are asking people in many situations, to please order online curbside pickup. We want to make sure that we can keep people physically distant, follow the public health measures that you always have followed. That’s going to be really important to reduce transmission and make sure that people can garden safely and in a healthy way.

Speaker 5: (23:30)
Next question.

Speaker 7: (23:33)
Next question from Rob Ferguson from the Toronto Star, please go ahead.

Doug Ford: (23:36)
Hi Rob.

Speaker 5: (23:42)
Rob, are you there?

Robert Ferguson: (23:44)
Yeah. Sorry. I was slow to get off mute. Premier, I understand that the recommendation to cabinet was to extend the stay at home order four weeks. Why did you go for just two? How much hope do you have that the numbers could be as Dr. Williams targets, well below 1000 new cases a day by them?

Doug Ford: (24:07)
Well, if the federal government secures our borders, I’m a lot more confident. If they have proper border security and, and testing at our land borders, we have a much better chance. We’re doing our job by getting 130, 140,000 people vaccinated every day. I just want them to do their job. It’s difficult when we’re doing one thing and more variants are coming in. As you know, Rob, my riding is right over the airport and all I hear is those planes just constantly coming in. And every time I look up, I think, “How many more variants are coming in?”

Doug Ford: (24:49)
So that’s going to play a big factor in it. So, we’re going to continue working hard right up throughout this whole pandemic, but especially up to June the second. We’ll have further information for the people, but our goal is to have as normal July and August as possible. And I’m confident we can do it. We’ve come a long way throughout this pandemic, everyone’s worked extremely hard. And I’m very confident we’re going to have a good July and August. And again, I don’t believe in a one dose summer, I believe that we’re going to have a two dose summer.

Speaker 5: (25:27)
Follow up.

Robert Ferguson: (25:30)
I’d like to ask, Premier, ask you or Dr. Williams that earlier this week, he said his target was well below 1000 new daily cases. So, has that been firmed up? There’s lots of ways to interpret that. Can you give us a more precise number? How many days in a row do you need to see cases below 1000? And will you go by the seven day moving average?

Doug Ford: (25:59)
I’ll pass that to Dr. Williams.

Dr. Williams: (26:08)
So Rob, as we had talked about before in the first and second wave, when we’re dealing with the classic COVID, I guess people are calling it now, the non variant style. The number of 1000 was where we had our predictable hospitalization rates of around 6% and our ICU rates accordingly. As presented by the science table and by Dr. Brown, with the variants of concern, the hospitalization rate for the variants is higher. The ICU rate has doubled. And so we have to take that into consideration because one of our main issues right now is the load on our hospital system. We have just backed off from a high number. I said, we just backed off, we haven’t gone down precipitously yet. And so we’re trying to watch and see where that one is going. If you take those numbers and double them up, you can see there that a number of below 1000 has to be achieved.

Dr. Williams: (27:02)
Because before, when we had over 1000, we were above our amount where we had to start to cancel and to have impact on our health system. The variants, the number has to be lower, because the rate is double that. So I’m looking at number well under 1000, and we have to stay there for number of days, because those are delayed metrics for the ICU numbers and hospitalization numbers. At the same time, we want to see what is it going to be the impact of our vaccination on our population writ large? Are we going to see a lot more people who may have mild symptoms, but who basically do not need hospitalization, are not going to the hospital? Is that going to impact us? Are we going to see that? So we’re going to have to see what we are now in a vaccinated reality, and in a VOC reality.

Dr. Williams: (27:47)
Both are together. These are two new things that we didn’t have as precipitously in wave one at all, and now wave two, we didn’t have as many VOC or variants of concern. So these two metrics have to be taken into account. So we’re going to try and measure that and work with our scientists and public health measures table to come up with the dynamics and with Ontario Health, to be sure that we want to get her hospital system back in functioning again, to relieve the hardworking first-line staff, our nursing staff, who are celebrating all their hard work and energy.

Dr. Williams: (28:20)
So we want to get those things back as soon as we can there and our other institutions working as well as we’ve talked about already with our schools. So we’re looking at numbers below 1000. And as I said, we’ve got a stable that for a period of time, which we weren’t able to do after the second wave. And we went into the third wave with the variants, so we never got out of the second wave totally before we were impacted by the variants of concern into a larger third wave. So we’re going to be very careful and we’re going to make sure we’re out and we stay out.

Speaker 5: (28:49)
Last question.

Speaker 7: (28:52)
Last question from Jeff Gray at the Globe and Mail. Please go ahead.

Jeff Gray: (28:57)
Oh, hi. Thanks Premier, I wondered if you could address the criticism from some, leaving aside the fact that there are medical experts who agree with you about the need to tighten the borders. They’d say, “Look, the reason that premier is talking about the border so much is to distract from his own problems in containing the third wave and reopening too early and not cracking down more on say, workplaces, this kind of thing.” Can you address that criticism?

Doug Ford: (29:29)
Yeah, no. Sure. And I’ll tell you, this just didn’t happen. I’ve been out here all the way back in December when the UK variant was coming in and we had to go into the airport because Justin Trudeau wasn’t going into the airport. And there’s two things Justin Trudeau’s responsible for, two things only throughout this whole pandemic is to make sure we have enough vaccines, and we saw what happened there. Now we’re getting a few more vaccines, which is good, and we’re grateful for-

Doug Ford: (30:03)
Now, we’re getting a few more vaccines, which is good. And we’re grateful for that and we’re getting them out. And to make sure we secure the borders. And it’s just not happening. There are 3000 persons alone that we know of. 3,200 people since January of have come in here with COVID, not to mention the thousands on the land border. And it’s just unacceptable. I sit back and think, you know there’s a problem and he’s not doing anything about it. What gives? You want to protect Canadians? You want to protect Ontarians? You want to stop variants from coming in when 90% of people with COVID has come in through the airports or the land borders.

Doug Ford: (30:52)
I’ll tell you, these variants, as I always say, they didn’t do the backstroke across the ocean, or they didn’t fall from Mars. They came in because of our porous borders. And I’ve been saying this for months, not just weeks, months. I’ve sent four letters. I’ve got on the call with them, with all the other premiers. Every premier, all 12 other premiers in the province heard me pretty clearly when we’re on a conference call. What gives? Protect the people of Ontario. Protect Canadians. It’s as simple as that.

Speaker 8: (31:27)
Follow up?

Jeff Gray: (31:29)
And if I can just switch to ask about the… We’ve just had the news in the last couple of days about AstraZeneca, which is the vaccine, I understand, you also received, Premier. Is there any more you can tell us about the possibility that existing doses could possibly be used to speed up second doses? For those of us who’ve got AstraZeneca, or whether or not the Ontario government will even accept the new doses that are expected to come shortly from the federal government.

Doug Ford: (32:01)
Before I pass to the Minister of Health and then over to the doctor, if they have AstraZeneca, I’ll take my second shot, in a second. But, I’ll pass this over to the Minister of Health.

Christine Elliott: (32:22)
Well, yes, the Chief Medical Officer of Health has put a pause in any more first vaccination doses of AstraZeneca out of an abundance of caution, because there have been other reports concerning the VITTs and the prevalence of them. However, the preliminary information does show, from the UK, that a second dose of AstraZeneca poses a far lesser risk than the first dose. And there’s also some preliminary information to suggest that, if you mix doses of AstraZeneca with the first dose, with Pfizer or Moderna, for example, as the second dose, that that’s fine. There may be some extra side effects, but it’s otherwise perfectly safe. But I think at this point, I would turn it over to Dr. Williams, to speak to the reason for the pause and what he’s waiting for in order to make a firm decision about the use of AstraZeneca for first doses and the use of second doses, as well.

Dr. Williams: (33:33)
So thank you for the question and phone in from Mr. Elliott on that. Our pause was an abundance of caution. The rates of our thrombotic, thrombocytopenic syndromes and the VITTs were escalating to a level that moved us down below, not to a high, huge level, but it was down from one in 100,000 to one in 50,000, 60,000. That, combined with the fact that before, people who got the AstraZeneca vaccine before it was a good decision. Because then our rates were much higher than they are now. And we didn’t have as much vaccine supply, especially the MRNA vaccines that we have now. So the combination of the two, out of an abundance of caution, we said, let’s pause the first dose. We have very little concern about the second dose at this stage. I just want our teams to look at the data to say it is assured that the data we have from the UK, and I think it is correct, that the risk of a second dose, if it didn’t have a problem in the first dose. After 28 days is our general window.

Dr. Williams: (34:38)
42 days just to be extra assured, is only one in a million of getting any result after the second dose. I want our team to review that, to make sure we’re satisfied with that. But more importantly, as Minister Elliott has alluded to, we’re looking at, if you then choose, because we want our public to have an informed consent. That means if you’re going to make a decision that you want the second dose, you have what you need to know. And if it’s safe, we want to make sure you know it’s safe. But at the same time, if you say, well, what happens if I want to take an MRNA vaccine? Can I do that?

Dr. Williams: (35:10)
We have some early data, as the ministers alluded to, that says the side effects are limited to the usual ones that you’d might expect. So first there’s no harm in having the MRNA vaccine. What I want to ask is, can we get some scientific evidence to say, what is the cumulative vaccine effectiveness of the mix versus the double dosing up? We know what the second dose of the AstraZeneca, especially if you wait up to 12 weeks and beyond, it reaches its maximum effectiveness. For your second dose. The question is what is the cumulative between AstraZeneca and a MRNA vaccine. We’re trying to get that answer as soon as we can so that, when we go to the public, we have to do it fairly soon, because second doses are coming up in June for some people who were the first out to get it.

Dr. Williams: (35:54)
So we want to make sure you have all the information you need. You may be, like the Premier, fully convinced that you’re going to get the second dose, AstraZeneca. Now it’s fine. And we want to make sure you’re assured that you have all the information to make a decision. But more on the other ones, they’re saying, well, should I decide on the other one? We want to make sure you have all that information. There’s a study going on right now. We hope to have that ready for you. But we’ll try and give you the best information you can so you can make the decision you need to make. And we want to make sure you’re assured of the safety and quality of that because, overall, we want you protected for a two dose summer, as the Premier is pushing for. I would push for that as well. We’d like to progress as quickly as we can towards that.

Doug Ford: (36:33)
And Allie, before we just wrap up and before I pass it over to the Solicitor General for final words on the vaccine rollout. I want to wish all the nurses out there Happy Nursing Week. You know something? You’ve been an absolute heroes. You’ve always put the community ant the hospital even ahead of your own families. We’re so, so grateful for all the hard work that you’ve done well over a year now, working around the clock. And then it just doesn’t stop. On top of that, all the people at the vaccination centers and the mobile units and the companies that are getting people vaccinated. Folks, there’s hope. Just a few more weeks. I always say, we see the light at the end of the tunnel. And that light is getting brighter and brighter every single day because of each and every one of you. And I just want to thank each and every one of you for everything you’re doing. Pass it over to Solicitor.

Sylvia Jones: (37:40)
There’s no doubt that the vaccine rollout has gone extremely well. We are seeing very high interest. We fully anticipate that 65% of Ontario citizens will have their first dose by the end of May. But, I must make a personal plea on behalf of the people of Ontario. We have done our part. We had stayed home to stay safe. We need the federal government to do their part and protect us from the variants that continue to come through our air, land, and water borders. Thank you.

Speaker 8: (38:15)
Thanks everyone.

Doug Ford: (38:16)
Thank you everyone.

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