Public Health

525 articles:
by Noah Ivers

Do we have the political will to ensure effective, equitable health care?

COVID-19 has exposed the longstanding frailty of our health-care system. The truth is that every flu season, our hospitals burst at the seams. Hard-working health-care workers have held the system together so far. It’s past time to create the system they deserve.

by Kieran Quinn

Omicron may be less severe but ‘let it rip’ is not the answer

Some argue that since Omicron is less severe than previous variants and all Canadians will likely be infected eventually, why not “let it rip” and be done with it? But there are three fundamental problems with this approach.

by Marianne Apostolides

Lessons learned, mistakes repeated: From HIV/AIDS to COVID-19

Many infectious disease practitioners pivoted from HIV to COVID when the pandemic struck. Now, some of them are sharing their views on what we’ve learned, where we’ve repeated mistakes, and how we can move forward.

by Colin Furness

Colin Furness

We may need to close schools for short periods of time when the spread of COVID-19 gets out of control, since doing so decreases community mobility and, by extension, transmission. We should also be wary of the narrative that schools are not significant sites of transmission, which might be more politically advantageous than scientifically accurate.

by Andrew Morris

Andrew Morris

We should not rule out school closures, since even though the short-term consequences of COVID-19 on children generally appear to be mild, they are not always benign – and no-one even knows what the long-term effects are. Furthermore, transmission does occur within schools, which can endanger not only schoolchildren but the broader community.

by Ari Bitnun

Ari Bitnun

We should never have closed schools because there is no compelling reason to do so. Not only are children at very low risk of developing severe COVID-19, but schools are also not significant sites of transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

by Martha Fulford

Martha Fulford

Schools should not be closed due to COVID-19 because children are at low risk of serious harm from the disease and do not spread it to others to a significant degree. In fact, closing schools causes far more harm to children than it prevents.

by Jennifer Grant

Jennifer Grant

Closing schools violates two rights safeguarded in the Convention on the International Rights of the Child. By infringing these rights, we have caused serious harm to our kids, despite the fact that schools never posed a serious danger to kids or the community at large.

by Ediriweera Desapriya Kamal Gunatunge Sarah Yassami Dave Gunaratna Parisa Khoshpouri

Vaccines: A Christmas wish for our children

Many parents are hesitant to vaccinate their children. But choosing not to get a vaccine is not a risk-free choice, but rather a choice to take another, more serious risk. In fact, it could be one of the most important health decisions parents will make.

by Monica Kidd

Fear of losing freedom common thread behind vaccine hesitancy, cross-cultural survey finds

Researchers have found that belief in conspiracies and the psychological phenomenon of reactivity are strong cross-cultural predictors of vaccine hesitancy. But are these characteristics fixed traits?

by Arden Bagni-Fast

A shortcut to immunity: St. Joe’s clinic saving lives through early-stage COVID-19 treatment

Could monoclonal antibody therapy help shore up health-care system capacity by stopping COVID-19 in its tracks among the unvaccinated and immunocompromised? A pilot program is hoping to do just that.

by Anthony Fong

Inuit communities bracing for return of RSV in babies

Health advocates are raising alarm that infants in Nunavut, and especially Inuit infants, face grave risks as a potent respiratory virus – deadlier than COVID-19 and influenza – re-emerges after a one-year hiatus. Health officials now fear serious outbreaks in Canada’s North.

by Kali Barrett

Kali Barrett

Vaccines must be mandatory in all health-care settings in order to protect patients, protect health-care workers and prevent future health-care worker shortages. Furthermore, hospitals are temples of science, and we need to make decisions based on science – such as mandating vaccination.

by Allison McGeer

Allison McGeer

Vaccine mandates will lead good health-care workers to be fired, thereby exacerbating systemic inequities – and all for a rationale that appeals to patient safety but which does not always stand up to scrutiny. We also can't allow vaccine mandates to send the message that we no longer need to use multiple complementary infection-control measures.

by Amit Arya

Amit Arya

Vaccinations should be mandatory for all health-care workers because they will keep vulnerable patients safe. We know this from our experience successfully mandating vaccination among staff in long-term care. Furthermore, vaccine mandates should not be blamed for staff shortages in the health-care system.

by Stefan Baral

Stefan Baral

Mandating COVID-19 vaccines amounts to a passive and insensitive infection-control measure that does not address the real drivers of COVID-19 infection. Moreover, it deviates from the core principles of public health, eroding trust between public health and those it serves.

by Mary-Kay Whittaker

Vaccination among the pregnant lagging despite growing evidence of safety and efficacy

Despite data showing the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant women, uptake is still lagging. Here are some of the reasons why.

by Marianne Apostolides

‘For the virus, one person is the entire environment’: The emergence of Omicron

Some virologists hypothesize that Omicron and other variants of concern emerged after mutating within an immunosuppressed person. The solution, they say, is to get vaccines to under-vaccinated countries.

by Sabina Vohra-Miller

We’re not safe until we’re all safe: Canada must live up to global vaccine commitments

Global vaccine inequity is not just wrong, but also dangerous. As Omicron is showing us, we aren’t safe until we’re all safe. Here's how Canada can contribute to global vaccine equity now.

by Trevor Hancock

Doctors and nurses declare a climate and ecological ‘Code Red’ for B.C.

A coalition of health professionals recently rallied in Victoria, B.C., to declare a state of climate emergency in B.C. and lay out a plan for the transformative change that will improve the health of the people of B.C. – and the world beyond.

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