Sunday, January 29, 2023
Home Covid-19 COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all adults is a ‘slippery slope,’ expert warns

COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all adults is a ‘slippery slope,’ expert warns

An infectious disease expert has voiced his disapproval of COVID-19 vaccine boosters becoming available for all adults in Canada.

Dr. Neil Rau, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, said on The Roy Green Show on Sunday that Canada has to be “pragmatic” when it comes to how we distribute the boosters.

He argued that the current vaccine offers one to three months of preventing transmission of the virus before the “immunity starts to wane,” therefore one booster wouldn’t prevent spread for too long of a time.

“You can’t have a situation where people aren’t current every three months,” he said. “You have to be pragmatic here.”

He also was skeptical about revaccinating the entire population with a booster of the vaccine that’s directed at the same “classic” stream of COVID-19.

Story continues below advertisement

“If we had a booster that’s directed at the new dominant strain, I could see there being more of an argument that certain populations might get reboosted,” he said, referring to the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Instead, he thinks Canada should currently be focussing on vaccinating those who are vulnerable, such as the elderly, organ transplant recipients and chemotherapy patients, as examples.

He mentioned the policy of offering boosters to health-care workers, which has been approved in Ontario, but the purpose would be to stop transmission, which, again, would require a new dose every three months or so.

“I hope we don’t move down this slippery slope of trying to get everybody to be boosted,” he said. “Can’t do it.”

Read more:
When could COVID-19 vaccine boosters be open for all adults? Timing is everything, experts say

His take comes in contrast with the direction of some policies in Canada, such Manitoba approving the booster for all adults over 18 years old.

Health Canada has also approved both the Pfizer and Moderna boosters for all adults over 18, but the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has not yet recommended booster shots to the general population.

Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, Dr. Howard Njoo, said a recommendation could come at some point next year, though.

Story continues below advertisement

“We need to do a risk-benefit or cost-benefit analysis because it would be a big decision to have a third dose for everyone,” he said.

COVID-19: Health Canada approves Pfizer booster dose for adults 18+

COVID-19: Health Canada approves Pfizer booster dose for adults 18+

Another infectious disease expert, Queen’s University immunology professor Dr. Gerald Evans, said that there is “emerging consensus” that a third dose will be needed in most people to get the “maximum benefit” from the vaccines.

“A third dose is useful,” he said.

Evans said that protection against contracting the virus wanes across the population as time passes after the second shot, which means case numbers could rise and that could put someone vulnerable into hospital.

“If we delay too long, we need to be very careful because it could result in increased hospitalizations again, and of course, ultimately, the bad stuff — dying of COVID.”

Story continues below advertisement

He did stress though that two doses still does provide very good protection — about 90 to 95 per cent against severe illness for the general population and about 85 per cent against contracting the virus at all.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Most Popular

London Knights edge Kingston to move into first place in Western Conference

The London Knights finished three games in three nights in three different cities with a 3-2 shootout win over the Frontenacs in Kingston, Ont.,...

Call Of The Wilde: Ottawa Senators outgun the Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens conclude their play before the All-Star break with a home and home against the Ottawa Senators. Night one Saturday in Ottawa...

Information session promoting diversity in policing held in Calgary

By Krista Sylvester Global News Posted January 28, 2023 9:03 pm Descrease article font size Increase article font size

Canadian Olympic Committee searches for future Olympians in Kelowna, B.C.

Athletes ages 14-25 had the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of Olympic talent scouts at Kelowna’s UBCO gymnasium on Saturday. The RBC Training...