Canada’s vaccine campaign has been suppressing it recently, and it’s impressive that 80% of eligible Canadians have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
However, this statistic distracts the attention of a disturbing fact: more than 6 million Canadians are still not vaccinated, just as experts warn us that we need more reporting to combat the possible surge in cases in the fall.
The first dose of vaccination campaign now appears to be halting, with fewer than 50,000 people being vaccinated every day—down from the peak of more than 185,000 last month—although these doses are now easily available nationwide.
CBC News interviewed some Canadians who were not vaccinated to learn more about the hesitation in certain parts of the country.
Many opponents said they were worried about safety and side effects. Others said they were not satisfied with the products currently offered.
There are also practical considerations. Many people who have not been vaccinated have needle-related phobias, which can make injections a terrible experience. Some people are severely allergic to vaccine ingredients. Some rural Canadians have encountered difficulties in visiting.
Experts also suggest that approximately 2% to 10% of the population strongly oppose vaccines regardless of how public health officials evaluate the many benefits of vaccination.
Nadina Smith graduated from Teachers College this spring. She felt pressure from family and friends and asked her to get a chance before the start of the fall.
Smith from Alberta told CBC News that she has studied the science behind various COVID-19 vaccines. She is most satisfied with Johnson’s single-dose injection, which uses more traditional viral vector vaccine technology.
Such vaccines use improved versions of different viruses (vectors) to deliver instructions to cells, and are widely used to prevent infectious diseases such as influenza.
New technology and old technology
Canada ordered Johnson & Johnson vaccine — 300,000 doses were delivered a few months ago — but there are no plans to use it as part of a vaccination campaign. Government officials stated that the provinces and regions have no interest in obtaining this product.
“I know that traditional vaccines have not been rated as very effective in the research-but I am satisfied with the style. I am happy to get it at this moment,” Smith said.
Watch: What can you expect after the second vaccination
Although Health Canada and other regulatory agencies carefully reviewed the clinical trial data, the mRNA products produced by Pfizer and Moderna are considered safe and effective, but Smith said that she is still unwilling to accept such a rapidly developed vaccine.
She said that she was not opposed to vaccines (she described herself not as “hesitating about vaccines” but “hesitating about mRNA vaccines”), but she was particularly worried about the possible long-term effects of mRNA injections using relatively new technologies .
“I don’t want to be a guinea pig”
“How do we know what effect this will have on our bodies? Will I have a third eye in 20 years?” she said.
“I mean, I know I won’t have a third eye, but I just want to explain what I mean. In the long run, we don’t know what the potential outcome is.
“The only thing that impresses me is whether some research or research has been conducted on the long-term effects of COVID mRNA. For me, this is a huge problem, and I don’t want to be a guinea pig.”
Messenger RNA or mRNA directs protein production in cells throughout the body to trigger an immune response and prevent infectious diseases.
Although mRNA vaccines have not been on the market until now, they have been tested in humans for at least four infectious diseases: rabies, influenza, cytomegalovirus and Zika virus. The long-term side effects of these products have not been reported.
For thirty years, researchers have been studying mRNA technology and its potential. By injecting hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency funding from the US government and other sources, companies such as Moderna and BioNTech (and BioNTech’s partner Pfizer) have turned a promising molecular biology into a usable product that has been deployed for hundreds of millions People play a big role.
Lorie Carty, a retiree from Prince Edward County, Ontario, said that the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) and Health Canada sometimes provide competing recommendations on vaccines, especially recommendations on AstraZeneca products. She questioned the safety of the vaccine.
Speaking of federal health officials, Katie said: “They seem to be fidgeting, trying to figure out the truth of the matter as they move forward, but the information is very confusing.”
Watch: Prime Minister and medical experts provide guarantee for COVID vaccine
She said she had already made an appointment, but she had been rescheduling her time because she was not ready to commit.
“I want to make sure before putting it in my body, because once it’s there, it can’t go back again,” Katie said.
“I’m not saying that I am a person who opposes vaccines. I just don’t have enough confidence. We really don’t know the long-term effects. There are too many problems, and you read different things every day.
Andriy Petriv is a long-distance truck driver from the Toronto area. He said he and his wife contracted what they believed to be COVID-19 shortly after Christmas. Although they were not tested, Petriff said they had all the common symptoms.
‘I just don’t understand this’
He said that in order to satisfy his curiosity, he recently conducted an antibody test to see if he has developed any immunity to COVID-19. The test is used to determine past infections and shows that he has developed some antibodies to the virus.
“Since I already have it, I don’t think there is any point in getting a vaccine. In some cases it can be dangerous, and given that I already have antibodies, why should I take the risk?” He said in an interview.
“If I have to accept it, I will accept it. I am not afraid of vaccines. I just don’t understand this. Why should I put something on me to get a certificate or something? If you are not afraid of getting thirsty, why do you want to Make others happy while drinking?”
He said that he is also disturbed by the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has so far only granted emergency use authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine, rather than “full approval”-a process that can sometimes take years . The FDA said it is about to receive full approval.
Health experts insist that even people who have been infected in the past should be vaccinated. However, some jurisdictions — including Quebec, France, Germany and Italy — have consistently given only one injection to anyone who was previously diagnosed.
Dr. Kummanan Wilson, professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa, said: “Although you will gain some immunity from a previous infection, the duration and breadth of this immunity are still unclear.”
“Not sure if exposure to previous versions or variants of the virus will protect you from new variants as powerfully as a vaccine.”
Vaccine acceptance is growing
Shannon MacDonald is an associate professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Alberta. Before the start of the immunization campaign, she conducted a study on the acceptability of the COVID-19 vaccine for the Canadian population.
She found that in general, the vast majority of Canadians are not completely opposed to vaccines. In fact, less than 2% of Canadian parents refuse to vaccinate their children for childhood.
As little is known about the vaccine that is about to be deployed, 65% of Canadians surveyed by MacDonald said that they will receive the COVID-19 vaccine once Health Canada approves the use-a number she described as “very encouraging.”
Since the publication of the study, the number of people willing to be vaccinated has been steadily increasing.
“Unfortunately, a small group of people are very outspoken and people think they are bigger than them. I think paying attention to those who have real legal issues-when I say legal issues, I don’t mean that their concerns must be based on Facts—really critical,” McDonald said in an interview.
“Breakthrough cases” are extremely rare
MacDonald said that the best way to persuade people who are hesitant is to show them data on the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing infection.
For example, of the 403,149 COVID-19 cases reported in Ontario between December 14, 2020 and July 10 this year, only 0.4% were so-called “breakthrough cases”—the second time they received COVID-19 infection. People took it 14 days ago.
Of all cases reported during this seven-month period, about 4% of people received only one dose of the vaccine. The rest, of course, were not vaccinated.
As of July 10, less than 18,200 of the 10,000,000 people in Ontario who have received at least one dose of the vaccine so far have been infected with the virus-16,358 people were infected when only partially vaccinated, and 1,765 people were infected after two doses. .
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 97% of recent hospital admissions for COVID-19 have not been vaccinated.
MacDonald said that the extremely low side effects should also convince hesitating people that these products are safe.
“The security situation is very good,” she said. “You can put information on billboards, which may affect some people, but for those who do not trust the government, pharmaceutical companies, etc., they need to hear information from people they trust. We must spread the information Go out there.
“You only need to have one case in your unvaccinated community and you are all at risk.”
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, as of July 9, Canada had only reported 2,222 serious adverse events after vaccination. This is only 0.005% of all vaccination doses.
Despite these positive signs, McDonald said that the vaccination campaign will almost certainly encounter deep-rooted hesitation.
She said that the fourth wave of cases may lead unbelievers to believe that it is best for them to get a shot. “You don’t want to wait to see an outbreak and say,’Look at this is what can happen.’ But this may be the case.”
She said that public health authorities should still try to persuade some unvaccinated people, but at some point, the energy may be best used to get some of the vaccinated people back for a critical second vaccination.
“Let us focus on them instead of jumping over a hundred hoops and trying to inoculate the first dose of people who are not interested,” she said.