Jarvis: “ The risk of just waiting and watching is too high ”

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Thirty percent of Britons are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

But Britain, the world leader in COVID-19 vaccination, received a worrying report from its Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) on Tuesday.

Thirty percent is not enough, not against the latest ravenous variant first found in India.

Canada has over 500 cases. And only 5% of Canadians are fully immunized. What happens if this variant wins here?

That’s why we need every dose of vaccine we can get, as soon as we can get it, including the thousands of excess doses that Detroit is giving us.

A subtype of the Indian variant, known as B.1.617.2, was found in England on March 28. Now it accounts for half of all cases in this country.

The number of cases is increasing twice as fast as cases of the previously dominant British variant, and close contacts of those infected with the Indian variant are 50% more likely to be infected.

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“Its growth has exceeded all other variants tracked,” says the SAGE report.

Public Health England said it was a worrying variant.

The report cites the first concrete evidence of the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines against the British and Indian variants in another report from Public Health England. This study estimates that the two vaccines are only 33% effective in preventing symptomatic infection of the Indian variant and 51% against the UK variant after one dose.

But the effectiveness jumps after two doses. Pfizer is 88% effective against the Indian variant and 93% against the UK variant after two doses. AstraZeneca is 60% effective against the Indian variant and 66% against the UK variant after two doses. It is believed that the lower effectiveness of AstraZeneca is due to the fact that it takes longer to reach its full effectiveness after the second dose.

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“This is the first concrete evidence that B.1.617.2 has some ability to escape the vaccine, especially in people who have only received a single dose,” says the SAGE report.

“Although two doses of the vaccine provide excellent protection,” he continues, “it’s much weaker after one dose.”

Like Canada, England extended the interval between doses to vaccinate more people more quickly. It was “without a doubt” the right decision in January, according to the report, but this summer, “many people will be deprived of full protection for several more weeks.”

The country must “immediately step up” its already successful vaccination campaign, the report said.

“The risk of simply waiting and watching is too high,” he concludes.

But here in Canada, the government seems to think it’s okay to wait and watch.

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Whatever the reason, the federal government seems disinterested in finding a solution

For five weeks, Windsor and Essex County have been trying to access the thousands of excess vaccine doses that hospitals, pharmacies and clinics in Detroit are giving us. We tried to send people to Detroit to get the shots. We tried to bring the vaccine here. We tried to meet at the border.

“For some reason, the federal government seems disinterested in finding a solution,” said a source familiar with the talks.

Last Friday, Deputy Minister of Health Dr Stephen Lucas was asked about getting the vaccine at a meeting of the House of Commons health committee.

When will the government approve the Windsor Regional Hospital’s vaccine access request, asked Conservative MP and committee vice-chair Michelle Rempel Garner.

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“I don’t have that information handy,” Lucas replied. “There are vaccines in Canada.”

It was a spokesperson for the Public Health Agency of Canada last week: “Vaccines are widely available in Canada.”

The region’s only government member, Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk, said in a statement Tuesday that his office had made more than 100 calls and emails to the offices of the prime minister and three different ministers, to the consul general. of Canada and local officials and the State of Michigan to try to get vaccinated.

He points out that Windsor and Essex County have vaccinated 65% of all adults, that Canada has obtained 25 million vaccines to date, that it now has the fastest vaccination rate among G20 countries and exceeded the percentage of people in the United States who are vaccinated.

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It’s all good. But the reality is, it’s not good enough. Ninety-five percent of Canadians are still not fully protected. And that means they’re vulnerable to aggressive virus variants.

Ontario has 1.8 million excess vaccine doses that have yet to be administered, Kusmierczyk said. Provincial distribution is key, he said.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has repeatedly said it does not have a surplus vaccine. He administers everything he receives. If there are doses in the freezers, they are intended for clinics which are fully booked a week in advance.

The key is to scramble for every extra dose we can get to protect ourselves and reopen our schools and our economy.

Several provinces have announced plans to shorten the interval between doses – but that will depend on the vaccine supply.

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  1. Downtown Detroit can be seen from Ouellette Avenue in downtown Windsor on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

    Mayor presents ideas for cross-border vaccines – using bridges, tunnels and even boats

  2. The exit of the Windsor / Detroit tunnel in Windsor is presented on May 19, 2020.

    Jarvis: ‘We’re in a 14-day quarantine for no reason’

Dilkens’ suggestion that Canadians and Americans meet at the border in the middle of the Detroit-Windsor tunnel for vaccinations is unorthodox. What hasn’t been unorthodox over the past 15 months?

It is a national problem. All along the world’s longest undefended border, from the Atlantic provinces to British Columbia, American communities are offering Canadians their surplus vaccine.

And this government’s nonchalant response is just another example of its bewildering lack of urgency when it comes to fully immunizing its citizens.

During this time, excess doses in the United States expire.

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