The nickname “Kraken” for the XBB.1.5. subvariant of COVID-19 Omicron does not arise from any mandated agency or authority and incites undue fear. When the tentacle wags the giant squid, the media undermine their own credibility as honest arbiters of facts.
Canadian provinces and territories have gone their own ways on the advisability and availability of fourth COVID-19 vaccine doses. But should the general population be eligible for a fourth dose at this time? Or are we better off waiting? We asked a group of experts to weigh in.
Following the emergence of Omicron in late November, Canada and several other countries placed travel restrictions on 10 African nations. While the measures are no longer in force, their effects will be felt for a long time to come.
Every day, thousands of Canadians are infected with COVID. But this isn’t March 2020. Due to mass vaccination and the particulars of Omicron, the majority of those getting COVID will not need hospital care. What Canadians do need is information, support at home and timely access to primary care.
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.
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.
With more transmissible variants, like the Delta variant, most experts agree that it's unlikely we'll reach herd immunity. So what might it look like to live in a world where SARS-CoV-2 is endemic, and how do we get there?
A country’s ability to sequence genomic data from samples of SARS-CoV-2 could help it respond effectively to potentially more dangerous variants. But in Canada, there are restrictions that impact the quality of information that is being collected.
The Delta variant is far more contagious than the original type of coronavirus and poses a far greater threat to public health. But measures like social distancing, wearing masks and getting vaccinated can help curb its spread.
If you had AstraZeneca for dose 1, you now have a choice. You can get AstraZeneca for dose 2 or you can get a dose of Moderna or Pfizer instead. We have some information you can use to weigh your options.
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