Don’t wait for potential Omicron booster — Delta still dominant, top doctors say

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Canada’s top doctors said Friday that the jury is still out on whether the Omron variant can evade the protection offered by current COVID-19 vaccines – but the continued proliferation of the delta variant makes your booster shot vital.

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His remarks came as Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) “strongly” recommended that adults age 50 and older be offered a booster shot. He said Canadians aged 18 to 49 could be “offered the booster” — six months after their second dose.

“Omicron isn’t really widespread in Canada. It’s very new,” said deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo, speaking in French on Friday.

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“But right now, Delta is kind of our concern – and the vaccines we are currently administering are effective against serious disease and are effective against Delta. Today’s recommendations on booster shots will help protect people against COVID-19. are there to help make it better.”

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Njoo said the Omicron variant is “still being studied” and researchers are “trying to understand its implications,” in particular in three areas: infection, severity and impact on vaccines. Based on what they find, it’s possible that experts “could come up with other vaccines optimized for Omicron, or other forms,” ​​Najoo said.

“But it lies in the future. For now, it is really important to point out that it is not a good idea to wait for another vaccine to arrive until later, because it will take at least several months,” he explained.

“For now it’s really important to deal with the situation directly.”

“The world will have more information about whether the Omicron COVID-19 variant is more transmissible than other variants “within days,” a top World Health Organization official said on Wednesday.

According to the most recent data from the government, the Delta variant makes up nearly 100 percent of the COVID-19 types of concern found in Canada. So far, only six cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed.

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“For now it’s really important to state that if you’re in the high-risk category, if you’re over 50, it’s a really good idea to get your booster shot,” Nju said.

The WHO has warned that the Granthshala risk from omicron is “very high”, with early evidence suggesting it may be more contagious than other forms of anxiety.

According to Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, the virus has multiple mutations in two key regions of the spike protein, including regions that can enhance transmission efficiency, and regions that may provide immunity to vaccines. can affect.

In general, there is “no question” that a third COVID-19 vaccine dose is “very useful in boosting immunity”, said Dr., an infectious disease specialist at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. According to Gerald Evans, who spoke. Granthshala news on Wednesday.

The immunity provided by the third COVID-19 vaccine dose, Evans said, “will likely cover most variants, including Omicron.”

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“That would help you control things at a local level where, for example, Omicron shows some evidence of vaccine avoidance,” he said.

That’s because booster shots give your immune system “a chance to recover antibodies in response to vaccination,” explained Evans, which should strengthen your body’s ability to fight off the virus if you’re exposed to it.

However, according to Evans, we still don’t know much about the Omicron version.

“The evidence that is coming out is suggesting that we really need to address our concerns and concerns. It appears to cause mild infection or mild illness … and it certainly does.” At this point in time the vaccine appears to provide protection,” Evans said.

“It’s too early and too speculative, but people need to take a deep breath and relax about these things while we wait to find out more.”

Even if boosters prove to be an effective tool against this particular type, experts warn that until high vaccination rates are in place in every country around the world, new, potentially dangerous forms will continue to emerge.

This is because the virus “takes advantage of widespread infection, which causes viral replication, which allows it to mutate,” according to Evans.

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According to many public health experts, those mutations can sometimes be beneficial to the virus, for example, by making it more transmissible, or by teaching it to avoid vaccines. The more COVID-19 spreads, the more replication occurs – and the more likely a serious mutation is to be caught.

“In Africa, the vaccination rate is seven percent – seven percent compared to about 70-plus percent in Canada,” WHO adviser Dr. Peter Singer said in an interview with Granthshala News on Thursday.

“It’s a breeding ground for variants.”

Canada has committed to donate the equivalent of at least 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the COVAX facility – a Granthshala vaccine-sharing initiative – by the end of 2022, A government website says,

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“This includes more than 50 million vaccine doses purchased by Canada that were determined by Health Canada to exceed our domestic needs, as well as financial support to COVAX for the purchase and distribution of doses,” it read.

“So far over 8.3 million surplus vaccine doses have been distributed through the COVAX facility. Canada has shared 762,080 doses of AstraZeneca with Latin countries through direct, bilateral arrangements.

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