Canada doesn’t need vaccine boosters yet, but planning for possibility: Tam

  

Category:  World News

Via:  hallux  •  4 months ago  •  9 comments

By:   Aaron D'Andrea Global News

Canada doesn’t need vaccine boosters yet, but planning for possibility: Tam
“There’s not enough data to suggest that in Canada we would go into boosting as of yet,” she said. “But it is something that we’re watching very carefully.”

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Canada  isn’t ready to offer  COVID-19 booster shots  as there’s “not enough data” to support it quite yet, the country’s top doctor said Friday, despite countries like  Israel  pushing ahead with a vaccination top-up.

Dr. Theresa Tam , the chief public health officer of Canada, told reporters that even though the data is quickly “evolving,” the timing for  boosters  isn’t right. “There’s not enough data to suggest that in Canada we would go into boosting as of yet,” she said. “But it is something that we’re watching very carefully.”

Tam’s comments come as Israel will begin offering a third shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to fully vaccinated people over the age of 60. Israel decided to offer the booster due to the highly transmissible Delta variant’s spread in the country.

Neither the European Union nor the United States has approved such a strategy.

Israel’s president, Isaac Herzog, is getting a booster on Friday. It will be offered to the targeted population on Sunday.

Tam said Canada isn’t seeing many breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people at this point, but the country is getting “operationally ready” to implement a booster if needed.

“But we’re very much attuned to the potential for a need for booster,” she said. “And we’re getting operationally ready, whether it is looking at supply, whether we’re looking at the implementation side, the provinces are looking at, well, what if we did need one? How would we implement that?”

A breakthrough infection is when someone who is fully vaccinated contracts the virus. These are expected, according to experts, as no COVID-19 vaccine is 100 per cent effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people.

Earlier this week, the government announced it had reached 66 million vaccine doses procured – enough to vaccinate every eligible Canadian. But, vaccination rates in the country have slowed.

To date, roughly 80 per cent of eligible Canadians have at least one dose of a vaccine and 65 per cent are fully vaccinated.

“But we’ve got to get those first and second doses and that’s got to be the priority,” Tam said. “But we will, of course, be updating everyone should there be a change in the advice for boosters.”

Also on Friday officials said that Canada is likely at the start of a Delta-driven fourth wave of the pandemic due to an upward trend in cases across the country.

Most are in the unvaccinated, but if vaccine uptake doesn’t increase in younger groups, cases could eventually exceed health-care system capacity, a long-range epidemic forecast reads.

With COVID-19 and its variants continuing to spread across the globe, some pharmaceutical companies have begun exploring the possibility of booster shots to target variants or boost immunity.

On Wednesday, Pfizer released a trial update that claimed its third dose generated virus-neutralizing antibodies against the Delta variant more than five times higher in younger people and more than 11 times higher in older people than from two doses.

However, some experts are skeptical and suggest that we might not actually need it.

“I don’t think there’s good clinical evidence,” Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious disease specialist told Global News in an earlier interview.

Chagla said people “shouldn’t necessarily worry that these two shots are going to be useless in a few years.”

“These are the shots that are going to keep people out of hospital and … from dying,” he said.

John Moore, a virologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, reiterated the sentiment.

“The general feeling that it is not the right time for a third dose of the mRNA vaccines,” he said. “We’re not saying it should never happen, but now is not the time.”

Regardless, officials are keeping an open mind, including Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.

“We are very aware of Israel’s decision. Actually yesterday, a number of ministers had a good conversation with Dr. Theresa Tam, our chief public health officer, about the Delta variant and about booster shots,” she said at a separate news conference on Friday.

“As has been the case since the beginning of this pandemic, the Canadian response is going to be guided by science and by the advice of our medical officials.”


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Hallux
Sophomore Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    4 months ago

Theresa Tam is in charge of Covid response in Canada … that she was born in Hong Kong has led hordes of right-wingers up here to label her as a ChiCom agent. In the early days of Covid she recommended that Canadians not wear a mask because of hospital shortages. When those shortages were overcome, she changed her recommendation to all should wear one … Canada’s ‘conservatives’ jumped all over this and tacked it onto their list of ‘it’s just a common cold’.

Will I lineup for a third jab if it's called for? Absolutely, I like people.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Senior Principal
1.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Hallux @1    4 months ago

I read this morning that Pfizer is saying that after 4 months I think it was, the efficacy rate for theirs is 83%. So I think they are pushing the "booster" shot too. Of course, when you have a captive customer base and they pay good, who wouldn't.

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
1.1.1  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @1.1    4 months ago

I'm sure Pfizer would like to keep their customers alive long enough for them to keep buying other medications they produce which are far more profitable to them.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
2  Jack_TX    4 months ago

I think the new normal may well be a regular Covid vaccine booster.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Senior Principal
2.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Jack_TX @2    4 months ago

Just like the seasonal flu and pneumonia. I agree with you

 
 
 
GregTx
Sophomore Participates
2.2  GregTx  replied to  Jack_TX @2    4 months ago

Well hopefully they will have been properly tested and approved by then.

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
2.2.1  seeder  Hallux  replied to  GregTx @2.2    4 months ago

Over 4 billion people being vaccinated world wide is an A+ test.

 
 
 
GregTx
Sophomore Participates
2.2.2  GregTx  replied to  Hallux @2.2.1    4 months ago

I agree..... to a degree. Obviously long term testing wasn't something the world could afford to wait on. So there aren't any reliable indicators as to what the long term side effects could be for the initial vaccine.I'm just hoping that if that is the new normal, it's properly tested and approved beforehand.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
2.2.3  Jack_TX  replied to  Hallux @2.2.1    4 months ago
Over 4 billion people being vaccinated world wide is an A+ test.

Early indications are promising, certainly.

But so was thalidomide.  Not saying something like that is remotely probable, but it's certainly possible.

 
 
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