Letter to the Editor – COVID-19 Vaccine

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Dear Editor,

I was shocked to hear a doctor treating Covid say on the CBC national news that she was looking forward to getting the vaccine so she would not have to worry any longer about taking the virus home to her family. According to the Moderna Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks, there is no evidence that the currently approved vaccines prevent one getting or transmitting Covid. It is possible that the Oxford vaccine will do so, but it is not approved yet and is not the vaccine we are getting at this point. The current vaccines will reduce or eliminate the illness symptoms caused by Covid, but may not eliminate Covid. They will leave you asymptomatic but you may still have and transmit the virus. At present, a vaccinated person may be no different than a currently asymptomatic spreader of the virus. Until there is evidence that vaccines will prevent transmission, it will be essential to continue all current public health precautions (masks, distancing, washing hands etc) even after vaccination. Yes, vaccines are a big leap forward in fighting Covid and will save tens of thousands of lives, but the misconception that they are proven to stop transmission may also cost tens of thousands of lives, if it leads to a false sense of security and a premature abandonment of precautions. Public health officials , doctors, and politicians need to get on this issue right now, but its scary to think there are doctors who themselves don’t understand the potential limits of vaccination. Politicians may want us to think the end of the problem is at hand, but they need to take leadership in sounding the appropriate note of caution until we know if vaccines will prevent transmission.

William Vanveen
Kemptville

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