Covid Questions and answers:
Our clinic has been swamped with requests and questions.
Here are some of the common ones. The answers are the best we have so far, and I try to re-evaluate incoming data on a regular basis.
1. Can I get a non- mRNA vaccine? There are at least a dozen different vaccines around the world. They work in different ways. The traditional approach to vaccination was to use a killed virus vaccine which would produce an antibody response in the body to covid. They were manufactured in China and Russia and are used in other parts of the world. Canada, decided last year to go with the new experimantal technology being researched for Cancer and repurposed for covid by Pfizer and Moderna. It is still released on an emergency basis and not liscened in Canada, but the rumours are that enough data may become available to move the process along. There are no traditional covid vaccines available in Canada at this time. No vaccine works extremely well, but most vaccines do help keep that small fraction of people who develope the severe cytokine storm from spike protiens out of the ICU.
2. Covid Antibody testing? There is a blood test that is non OHIP covered ($100) , that can measure if there are circulating antibodies in your blood to covid. However, it CANNOT measure inate immunity which is often is long lasting and more important. This is similar to the traditional hepatitis shots or tetanus boosters. Even though we see low antibody levels, if the body is challenged, it still mounts a good response in vaccinated individuals.
3. If I had COVID, why do I need the vaccine? At this time, some estimates suggest that between 10-35% of the population has had covid. A great many of those recovered, work in hospitals, nursing homes and the health care sector. Public health officials felt it important to vaccinate everyone. As with other illnesses such as chicken pox, roseola etc, once you recover you are considered to have full immunity for quite some time. More countries around the world are applying this rational observation. It makes the so called passport program very difficult to use as it would mean that those people would have be considered as immune and this makes it harder to count.
4. How does one define that the pandemic is over? Good question, and it seems that it will be a political decision with input from public health. Covid will never be eradicated any more so, than rhinovirus cold symptoms have been eradicated or influenza. Having a case of covid here or there will probably be permanent. However, I do believe that we will stop tracking the majority with minor symptoms, as it aids the media reports in a difficult to interpret manner. For example, over the last few months, we have diagnosed, tuberculosis, listeria, influenza, strep throat, lyme disease and botulism but chances are that you have not heard one word about any of these things present in our community.
5. Side effects. We have side effects to all vaccines. There are deaths after vaccines get administered. Fortunately these are relatively infrequent occurences. The Americans track them carefully and share with the public. We also do, but the data is much more difficult to interpret. I think we have to admit that side effects exist and we must be mindful of them.
6. Can I get covid after vaccination? Yes, no vaccine offers full protection. Majority of people get mild symptoms and recover no matter what preventions they employed. Covid is a Fragile virus. You may be surprised that UV light... ie sunshine can kill it, as can numerous other things, the nitric acid in our noses, the mucus in our lungs, etc. I have used vit C, Vit D, and Zinc during cold seasons for dozens of years and suffered no side effects.
Covid exemption criteria, update will follow shortly.