COVID-19 vaccines targeting both the original strain and Omicron variants are expected in Canada this fall.
But messages about stimulant doses have been mixed across the country. Some experts like virologist Angela Rasmussen are recommending the first available booster dose, while other officials like Manitoba’s chief public health officer Dr. Brent Rossen say his county will wait to open fourth doses to all adults until new bivalent vaccines are approved.
Mixed messages about vaccines have led some Canadians to experience what experts call “vaccine stress” — or be inundated with COVID-19 vaccine information.
This fatigue may have an effect on the absorption of the booster. About 82 percent of Canadians Their initial series has been completedabout 57 percent of the population 12 years of age or older received at least one additional dose and about 12 percent of the population received two additional doses.
Some virologists and public health experts say that if we’re going to roll out new vaccines or introduce more doses of existing ones, government messaging needs to be clear about why people should be vaccinated at this point in the pandemic.
“I’m sitting here [in] It’s kind of hard to tell how people will react in the fall, Julie Pettinger, a professor of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia and a vaccine safety scientist at the Vaccine Evaluation Center in British Columbia, said in mid-August.
“Perhaps specific messages are needed for that [vaccine fatigued] group in terms of why a booster dose is important and the type of additional protection it provides.”
Health experts say the messages should be clear about the effectiveness of vaccines and the protection they offer.
The data showed that a third dose Offers a significant increase in protection against infection, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.
Research suggests that some people benefit from a fourth dose, including residents in long-term care, the elderly, and other vulnerable groups, but data showing a clear benefit for those under the age of 60 is lacking.
Health experts said that in addition to clear messages about vaccine protection, it should also be easier for people to obtain booster or bivalent vaccines in the future.
“If we could make getting a COVID booster as easy as getting a flu shot or some other regular health behaviour, I think that would lower the barriers a lot,” said Devon Grayson, associate professor at British University. Columbia School of Population and Public Health.
What we know about why people don’t get boosters
Vaccine hesitation is one reason why a small portion of the public does not get vaccinated, but vaccine fatigue may also “harm people’s intent to vaccinate.”
This is what researchers in the United States, Brazil and China found in a Literature review Published in the peer-reviewed Frontiers in Immunology in March.
The researchers studied 37 studies to find factors that shape people’s fatigue from a vaccine, which they defined as “inertia or inaction in vaccine information or instructions due to perceived burden and fatigue.”
They found that there can be many precursors to vaccine fatigue, such as repeated vaccination requests, vaccine side effects, and misconceptions about the need to vaccinate.
There are mixed opinions about stimulant doses in Canada. that An Angus Reed poll was published last month It found that one in five of the 1,583 Canadians surveyed believed there was no immediate urgency and that stimulant doses could wait until the fall.
About a quarter of respondents said there was no need to expand reinforcement eligibility at all. The Angus Read Institute conducted the online survey July 13-15 on a representative random sample of adults who are members of the Angus Read Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size might carry a margin of error of +/- 2.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Experts say access to booster injections is another reason for the low prices. Nova ScotiaAnd the ManitobaAnd the Northwest Territories And the Newfoundland and Labrador Fourth doses have not been given to all adults.
Rolling out a vaccine has been complicated, Grayson said, but making sure people understand the need to vaccinate is important if we are to increase vaccination rates.
Studies have shown that the effectiveness of the vaccine was strong after three doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines In protection from infection and emergency department related to COVID-19 and urgent care visits.
The third dose was at least 90 percent effective in preventing hospitalization for COVID-19, during the delta and omicron periods, American study have found.
“If people understand what they are supposed to do and why science suggests it, they are more likely to follow instructions than if they seem arbitrary, politically motivated, financially motivated, or for some other reason,” Grayson said.
What works and what doesn’t?
Bettinger adds that what is happening this fall with regard to cases of COVID-19 could prompt people to get a booster dose.
“If we see a real spike in cases this fall…and it’s still one of the strains the vaccine can protect against, I think that probably motivates a lot of people to go get a booster if they know a vaccine is on the way to prevent them getting sick.”
“If we suddenly see an emerging strain that is not protected by a vaccine, then it’s hard to make that argument that you need this vaccine.”
Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said Friday that Health Canada’s regulatory approval staff is reviewing Moderna and Pfizer’s bivalent vaccine applications. A spokesperson for Health Canada said Monday that a decision on Moderna’s bivalent vaccine is expected within the next two weeks.
Tam said that based on information provided by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, their bivalent vaccines will protect against the original coronavirus strain and the BA.1 strain.
Messages about bivalent vaccines need to be specific, said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist with the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Organization.
“It should be messaging if you haven’t got a booster yet, you need to get one. But you really need to get that message because this booster is really designed to protect against viruses and variants that are currently circulating in our population right now.”
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As we’ve seen with previous vaccine launches, one size does not fit all when it comes to vaccination campaigns.
Alternatively, some areas saw an increase in vaccine uptake when vaccination clinics entered communities, or when incentives were provided to residents.
“It will be interesting to see which counties will try over the next year if we roll out new vaccines and bivalent vaccines and we want to let everyone know about the new vaccine,” Grayson said.
Grayson said public health officials will need to work on addressing vaccine confidence, complacency and comfort again in the next few months.
They said that confidence is “very high in Canada” about vaccines, and since most of those vaccinated do well with their COVID infection, confidence has grown.
“We caught some “It’s slackening because we’ve got this degree of protection and we’re more used to living with COVID,” Grayson said.
“To really achieve successful fall promotion campaigns as we look to enter our regular respiratory season… we will need to make it easier for people to follow the clear recommendations that are being made.”