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.
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