The current approved vaccines in Canada are safe and strongly effective at preventing you from getting COVID-19 14 days after having received the appropriate and recommended amount of doses.
It is important to note that since the vaccine does not prevent the virus from entering your body and that no vaccine is 100% effective, there is still a small risk of catching COVID-19.
However, getting vaccinated will significantly help prevent you from developing moderate to severe symptoms (even if you catch COVID-19), and therefore lower your risk of serious complications and hospitalization. This is especially important to those who present a higher risk of developing complications to COVID-19, for example immunocompromised people.
It is also important to continue practicing proper safety measures until further notice as it is currently unknown whether you can carry and transmit the virus despite having been vaccinated.
COVID-19 is incredibly easy to spread from person to person. Therefore, if you get sick, you could spread it to friends, family and others around you.
Also, COVID-19 affects everyone differently, so even if you experience little to no symptoms, those around you can develop other more serious symptoms. It is strongly recommended to get vaccinated in order to prevent the spread of the virus and ensure the safety of those around you.
The best way to achieve herd immunity is with large scale COVID-19 vaccination and continuing to practice recommended social safety measures.
What is herd immunity? Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community (the herd) becomes immune to an infectious disease, providing indirect protection by making the spread of the disease from person to person unlikely, even to those who are not immune to the disease.
However, there are problems with relying on community infection (without vaccination) to create herd immunity with regards to the COVID-19 virus. The main reason is that it is not yet clear whether having been infected with COVID-19 makes a person immune to future infections. If it does not create immunity, herd immunity will not work.
Also, medical experts do not yet know what percentage of a community would need to get infected to achieve herd immunity. Current data shows that a person is relatively immune to the virus 90 days after infection, however there is currently insufficient data that can determine immunity beyond that. Even if we assume that the infection creates long-lasting immunity, a large number of the population would have to become infected in order to reach the herd immunity threshold, which can be anywhere from 50-90% depending on the specific infection. This amount of infection could lead to serious and potentially long-term complications and deaths.
And so, if many people become sick at once, the healthcare system could easily become overwhelmed, therefore lowering life-depending resources.
Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are currently not enough.
Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed and prevent serious illness. The combination of getting vaccinated and following the recommended safety guidelines to protect yourself and others will undoubtedly offer the best protection from COVID-19.
Contact your pharmacist if you have any other questions, and to schedule an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The government has introduced new measures to protect students and staff against the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom. These measures include:
Lecce said the province has allocated $341 million in federal funding to enhance safety in schools for students, teachers and other education workers.