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Vaccines are now rolling out across Canada at a rapid pace as supply is finally catching up with demand. While we’re still far from returning to normal life, Canadians are enjoying increased protection from the worst cases of COVID-19 with each passing day.
Early research was from countries that developed their vaccines Overwhelmingly positive, Which suggests One dose protection It is strong and Increased number of shots to weapons Indicates a brighter future for Canada.
But while we’re not quite where we need to be yet and we still need to remain vigilant, experts say things haven’t looked good for some time as we head towards what many are hoping is the latest spillover of the pandemic in this country.
“From now on, things will get better every day,” said Rewat Dionandan, a global health epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Ottawa. “The vaccination works.”
Even a peek around the world gives a glimpse into why there’s reason for optimism here at home.
With more than 50 percent of the population is fully vaccinatedIn the past week, Israel reported just over 200 cases of COVID-19 and five deaths over the past week – down from just over 200 Score high Of more than 60,000 cases and 400 deaths in one devastating week in mid-January.
The UK saw the number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 drop below 1,000 for the first time in months, down from the Higher than 4000 In January, daily deaths fell to a single number as the strategy of delaying second doses – similar to Canada’s approach – continued to push.
While the United States has So far, half of its population has been partially vaccinatedRecord her Lowest rate of COVID-19 case In more than eight months on Sunday and Seven days average of daily deaths It fell to its lowest level since October.
Canada doesn’t have much vaccination coverage, but we’re catching up.
Close 50 percent Of eligible Canadians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine so far, and we’re already starting to see results.
There are fewer than 4,000 people in hospital for the first time since mid-April, which is an 8 percent drop from the previous week. The number of ICU admissions decreased by 5 percent per week over the course of the week, and is less than 1,400.
In Canada’s largest province, recent data from Public Health Ontario It showed that the COVID-19 vaccines were very effective against infection and hospitalization.
Of the 3.5 million Ontario residents who were partially or fully vaccinated as of April 17, only 2,223 had contracted the infection – a significant infection rate of just 0.06 percent – with about two-thirds of cases occurring within 14 days of the first dose, when the bodies were still The counter is not over yet. Fully build.
“Wherever I work, there is a lot of hope and optimism in the staff, knowing that people are getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Zain Shagla, an infectious disease physician at St. Joseph Healthcare in Hamilton and Associate Professor at McMaster University.
“There is an end in sight to all of this and I think that’s the one thing that is really driving a lot of optimism in healthcare.”
The “ high level ” of COVID-19 can jeopardize progress
We are also learning more about the protection that a single dose provides, even when the second doses are delayed, as new research on suppuration and efficacy quickly emerges.
A new study from the United Kingdom It found that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine generated three times greater antibody responses in the elderly when a second dose was delayed to three months after the first.
A recent study in The Lancet Screened more than 23,000 healthcare workers who were vaccinated in the UK from December to February and found the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was at least 70% effective in preventing COVID-19 three weeks after the first dose.
And another Lancet study They screened more than 1.3 million people in Scotland during the same time period and found that the Pfizer dose was more than 90% effective in preventing hospitalization due to COVID-19 four to five weeks after the initial dose.
That study also analyzed the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine in the same population and found that it was 88 percent effective in reducing hospitalizations from COVID-19 after a single shot.
But while vaccines do an amazing job in preventing severe disease and death, the number of daily infections across Canada remains high and threatens to jeopardize the progress we have made.
“Your risk of severe disease decreases dramatically after two doses and even after one dose, which is cause for optimism and to celebrate,” said Professor Alison Kelvin, associate professor at Dalhousie University and a virologist at the Canadian Center for Vaccine Science. And the Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Organization in Saskatoon.
“But what we have to bear in mind is that there is still a high level of virus transmission within the community.”
Dr Teresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health official, warned Canadians on May 8 that two doses of the vaccine do not fully protect against COVID-19.
“It’s not at all,” Tam said during a virtual town hall session in the Yukon. “There is a decrease in the risk of transmission, but it does not necessarily eliminate the risk of transmission.”
Deunandan says this is like taking a “half-empty approach” to the situation, given the positive impact vaccines have already had on our healthcare system and in other countries around the world.
‘One dose of summer’
Tam had a more positive outlook on Friday, saying Canadians who received a single dose could take it Communicate with family and close friends outdoors During the summer months.
“Vaccines will help hugely to keep rates low and indicate a future that includes some of these activities that we crave without a resurgence,” Tam said.
“Individuals who take one dose should feel more confident that they are better protected, but you should get the second dose to provide maximum protection.”
Watch | Tam discusses the differences between the 2020 and 2021 pandemic summer seasons in Canada:
A more social summer will depend on most Canadians staying away from each other for the rest of the spring, Tamm said, because the number of cases remains so high and vaccination coverage is so low that public health measures cannot be eliminated at the moment – even for people who have been partially vaccinated.
This directive came a day after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that Americans have received complete vaccinations Stop wearing masks indoors in most places.
While the concept of severely easing public health restrictions remains elusive in Canada, there is hope for a gradual return to some normality this summer.
“We can have a better summer,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday. “One dose of summer.”
Trudeau said that once 75 percent of the adult population gets at least one vaccine dose, provinces and territories can start lifting public health restrictions – but even then, Canadians must remain vigilant to avoid sparking a spark. The fourth wave.
“Our summer will not go back to where we were in January 2020, but it will be our summer in which we look forward to things being normal,” said a concern.
“At least doing some low-risk outdoor things together, to visit each other, to be able to interact with each other, to be careful, but at least to be able to do more than we have done in the past.”
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