I know, we have several ‘insert letter here’-Days. D-Day, J-Day, for example, but now we have V-Day, Vaccine Day.

Recently, we had the first vaccine delivered to Canada and the first vaccinations shortly after. It is a milestone in the Canadian recovery. But only a milestone. It is not a finish line.

When I was a young lad, I received a smallpox vaccine. That was routine. The World Health Organization (WHO) took on the leadership role in eradicating smallpox from the planet in 1967. Smallpox needed humans to replicate and spread. Widespread immunization and surveillance were conducted around the world for several years. The last known natural case was in Somalia in 1977. In 1980 WHO declared smallpox eradicated – the only infectious disease to achieve this distinction. This remains among the most notable and profound public health successes in history.

Here’s the catch. Even if every Canadian was vaccinated and even if the vaccines are 100% effective, and even if the vaccine reduced the symptoms of covid-19 we’d still have to be vigilant with our behaviour.

Travel rates will gradually return to pre-pandemic levels. People’s movement from high case rates to lower case rates increase. The grass is greener where the rates are lower.

The current vaccinations reduce our symptoms, so we don’t feel as sick. Therefore, we don’t need a higher level of medical treatment. But some people will still die from covid-19.

Aside from the vaccines not being 100% effective and the likelihood of every Canadian being vaccinated is impossible to expect, other corners of the globe will have covid-19 cases for a long time. Folks in high case areas will somehow travel to low-case regions and then travel across international borders by air as if they came from a low-case part.

We know that the “annual flu shot” is made available to Canadians. Up to 8,000 of us die every year from the seasonal flu. Why would we not expect the same kind of numbers as covid-19?

My straightforward message today is this. Inform yourself with reliable and credible information about the vaccines before deciding whether getting the vaccine is right for you. If you choose to get it, continue to wear your mask and social distance and frequently wash your hands. I expect these guidelines or mandatory requirements will evolve as the vaccination rate grows. It is expected that all Canadians who want to be vaccinated will have that opportunity by September 2021. That’s 8 months from this first posting and only 10 months from the start of the pandemic!

Please give this a bit of a think. Will I get the vaccination? Since few people actually roll the dice to make that decision, everyone decides after thoughtful consideration. Why not challenge yourself. What are some reasons for getting it or not getting it that I can find after an earnest Google search? If I do get it when my turn comes, will I follow public health guidelines?

I’m curious about your thoughts. Please email me or leave your comment. I really do read every one.

If you enjoyed The Blog, please share with others. Thanks.

And my thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.

Glenn Walmsley
Volunteer Blogger: The Blog: for those with a curious spirit

4 thoughts on “V-Day

  1. Diana Magrath says:

    Glenn – you make some very valid and understandable points. I would certainly continue to mask, wash hands etc. But I think that many may assume they are ‘cured’ or completely protected and cease to do so. I originally thought I would not have the vaccine, then talked it over with my son-in-law who works in Cambridge Mass as a research scientist and has a fair bit to do with such things, now I think that I will – but will certainly continue to follow all the above guidelines, as I don’t there has been enough time for thorough testing and much we do not know, my major concern is after effects of the vaccine. Chris says that it is not exactly a new vaccine but more like a recombination of parts of previously used and safe vaccines

  2. David Magrath says:

    Hi Glenn,

    Diana shared your V-Day blog with me. It gives food for thought on getting the vaccine. I thought you might be interested in the woman who paved the way for this vaccine’s development. Her name is Dr. Katalin Kariko and I’m attaching a web site for the New York Post which described her work and amazing perseverance in the face of all odds against her work. https://nypost.com/2020/12/05/this-scientists-decades-of-mrna-research-led-to-covid-vaccines/ It is inspiring and shows that women can do as well as or even better than their male counter parts and I think, opened up a crack in the “um” Chrystal(ography) ceiling.

    • glenn says:

      Thanks for the link, David. I checked it out. I include a quote from the article.

      “Kariko’s obsessive 40 years of research into synthetic messenger RNA was long thought to be a boring dead-end. She said she was chronically overlooked, scorned, fired, demoted, repeatedly refused government and corporate grants, and threatened with deportation — among other indignities.”

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