Saturday marks three years since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and Canada'a chief public health officer says the virus has reached a relatively steady state in this country.

Dr. Theresa Tam says in recent months, there have been no new variant-driven waves of infection.

Omicron subvariants continue to spread but hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths have stabilized

Tam says population immunity is high due to an overall high vaccine uptake combined with the immunity people got from infection.

She says officials are continuing to watch for new strains of the virus that can evade people's immune systems.

She also says it's possible that Canada could be spared any new major waves in the coming months.

Tam cautions that this does not mean that COVID-19 is over.

She says people who are older or immunocompromised continue to be disproportionately affected by the virus.

Tam urges anyone who has not been vaccinated or had a booster dose to get those shots.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is recommending an additional bivalent booster dose this spring for for adults at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 if it's been six months or more since their last shot.

That includes seniors, long-term care home residents and people who are immunocompromised.

Tam says over the past three years, there have been millions of COVID-19 cases in Canada and more than 51,000 people have died.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2023.


Canadian Press health coverage receives support through a partnership with the Canadian Medical Association. CP is solely responsible for this content.