Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam appears via videoconference at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday April 6, 2021, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam appears via videoconference at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday April 6, 2021, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Vaccines are helping but won’t solve the pandemic on their own, federal doctors warn

In the last week the number of people admitted to hospital with COVID-19 rose 4%, new intensive care admissions grew 18%

Federal politicians and medical experts warn that COVID-19 vaccines are helping but will not be the pandemic panacea.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu says even as vaccinations ramp up, workplaces and individuals need to keep doing everything they can to prevent the virus from spreading.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, says there is growing evidence that people who are hospitalized with variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 are needing intensive care at higher rates.

She says in the last week the number of people admitted to hospital with COVID-19 rose four per cent while the number of new admissions to intensive care units grew 18 per cent.

Over the last week, an average of 2,400 people were in hospital and 780 were in the ICU.

It means about one-third of patients currently hospitalized require intensive care, compared to less than one-fifth in mid-January, when hospitalizations during the second wave of the pandemic peaked.

Coronavirus