Letter to the Editor – COVID-19 Vaccines

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Dear Editor,

For those people doubting the efficacy of vaccines for Covid-19, I’d like to share some data from the UK. The UK has had much higher case numbers throughout than we’ve had here in Canada, and the effect of vaccines is easy to see. At the start of the third wave in January, 2021, the UK had 0.6% of the population fully vaccinated. New cases peaked at 68,000 on January 8 (7-day average 59,000 per day), and a few weeks later, on January 27, there were 1725 covid-19 deaths (7-day average 1,228 deaths per day). Move forward to November 30 and there were 39,000 new cases (7-day average 42,000 per day), 159 deaths (7-day average 119 deaths per day), and 69% of the population has been fully vaccinated. Data from the Office for National Statistics in the UK shows that between January and September, 2021, the age-adjusted risk of deaths involving covid-19 was 32 times greater in unvaccinated people than in fully vaccinated people.

Covid-19 vaccines are not perfect. They do not prevent you from catching Covid-19, and they do not eliminate the risk of dying from Covid-19, but they do significantly reduce the risk of catching or dying from Covid-19, especially when combined with wearing a mask. Just like many other vaccines on the market, Covid-19 vaccines require multiple doses.

Covid-19 vaccines are now approved for children aged 5 and older, and there has been speculation that the Ontario government is going to announce that people aged 50 and older will be able to get booster shots starting in the middle of December. I’d encourage everyone to get themselves and their children fully vaccinated as soon as they can, to protect themselves and others around them. My 18-month-old daughter will be first in line to get her vaccine as soon as approval is given for her age group.

Stay safe and healthy,
Steve Gabell,
Pharmacist

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