Vaccine certificates could phase out in spring 2022, says Dr. Peter Jüni.
In fact, Ford admitted to being reluctant to the idea himself and addressed that not everyone is happy with the certificates.
"Everyone and their cousin and their brother was on to me about getting the certificate, and so we moved forward with it," he explained.
"I know many people are concerned about the certificate and what it means for your civil liberties. I know that this is a divisive issue, and that's understandable. I want you to know that I hear you, our government understands your concerns, and it's no secret that I was reluctant to use this tool."
"But our highest concern, what keeps me up at night, is ensuring we never lose our hard-fought progress. We can't afford to shut down again or experience a sudden surge of cases like we're seeing in other provinces across the country."
"And I truly believe that this tool, these certificates they're the best chance to get through these coming months without having to move backwards. But let me be very clear this is a temporary and exceptional measure, and we will only use these certificates for as long as they are needed and not one day longer."
Top doc says vaccination certificate won't end soon
Dr. Peter Jüni, from the Science Advisory Table, told Narcity he believes if the Delta variant doesn't get "more challenging" and all goes well in schools and Ontario's health care system, vaccine certificates could be lifted sometime between April and June 2022.
"It will depend on the epidemiological situation. There are two different possibilities. One is that Delta, in its current state of mutation, is here to stay, but it doesn't get more challenging. What this means is that we now face a next few months that are dominated by two considerations. One is keeping our ICUs and hospital capacity afloat, making sure that they're not overwhelmed in general and keeping schools for those below the age of 12 as safe as possible."
Jüni says the next step will be vaccinating children 5 to 11 years old, which he believes may occur in late November, early December or perhaps January before children return to school.
Jüni says that come spring 2022, if we are still dealing with Delta, "we will have a situation where we have a continued number of cases, probably relatively stable [...] But we can open more because of the change of weather and the change of behaviour in people, and that in this situation would then be the potential transition into an endemic state where we have continued transmission but a situation where our health care system is not overwhelmed."
"And that would then be the moment when considerations would be given to phasing out vaccine certificates somewhere between April and perhaps June 2022."
What happens if Delta becomes more challenging?
When it comes to the Delta variant possibly mutating, Jüni says, "it's important not to paint too dark a picture."
"I think right now what people need to understand is also when we compare ourselves with Alberta that we're actually in a really, really good shape. People have quite a lot of liberties, but since they contribute to the precautions, and they continue to mask, continue to social distance, you know, work from home if they can, etcetera. We actually work really well together with the, you know, high vaccine tolerance that we're having, and I right now would consider it still considerably more likely that we would make it into endemic this spring."
Jüni says while it is possible Delta could become more difficult to deal with, from his perspective that it's not likely that we would struggle with a variant this spring that would evade COVID-19 vaccines or threaten immunity any more than the current Delta variant
However, Jüni did say it is important for people to know that vaccine certificates were never meant to be permanent in the first place.
"This is really important to know that with these certificates, that's a measure to be taken to keep the economy going, to keep you know, the liberties going for the majority of people who are fully vaccinated while keeping those that are vulnerable that the unvaccinated out of trouble and out of the risk of ending up in our ICUs and hospitals."
"For all of those out there who are still skeptical, this was always meant, conceptionally, as a temporary measure. This was never meant to be permanent."