The Ontario government has recently lifted capacity restrictions on certain businesses and facilities that require proof of COVID-19 vaccination, including restaurants and gyms,
The government intends to eliminate all pandemic restrictions by March next year and eliminate capacity limits for businesses that do not require proof of vaccination on January 17.
When it comes to COVID-19 and vaccinations, the province is “currently leaning toward the best possible scenario,” said Dr. Kapoor, chief medical officer of health. Despite being told by Kieran Moore, Premier Doug Ford described the project as a “cautionary” plan.
The province will continue to closely monitor public health indicators by removing restrictions.
Dr. Greene is the Scientific Director of the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table in Ontario. Peter Zuni joined Ontario today Tuesday to answer caller questions about COVID-19 and vaccines and share their thoughts on Ontario’s approach.
This discussion has been edited for length and clarity.
Q: Tell me about the thoughts that are running through your mind when you hear the latest project of the future?
I think this is a good plan until we understand what it is. This is the roadmap: it gives you the initial time that the restrictions can be removed and it basically tells you when we look at the data.
And based on the data, admit that we don’t have a crystal ball right now and we don’t know what it will look like in a few months, we are making a decision.
So I see a commitment to have vaccine certificates at least until mid-January and at least until the end of March. And that’s good news – we’re doing the right thing, we’re on the right track right now. Others are not. Why? Because they made really fatal mistakes.
Q. When can Canadians see the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, especially for those over 65?
When you have a long interval between the first and the second dose, your immune system matures somewhat. If this interval between the first and the second dose is high enough that we see a fairly stable, then the rate of protection against any infection is a bit higher.
This helps us to keep the effectiveness a little higher. But if you are 65 or older, there is a moment when the third dose is in the corner.
Question: In my work in public health, people are still asking, “Why vaccinate if you can still get COVID and pass COVID?” Why don’t you address it?
Oh dear. Well, it’s all about the possibilities here. If you get vaccinated, the risk of actually getting COVID is reduced by 85 per cent. That’s seven times less in risk. And even if you have a progressive infection, you are only half as likely to spread it to others.
Speaking of being admitted to a hospital or ICU, the risk reduction is approximately 95 per cent. So when you look at it, it’s absolutely no brainer. Of course, you have to vaccinate, [but] No vaccine is perfect. Everything else, even if you wear a seat belt in the car, you can actually get into an accident and you can still get hurt. But a belt in the car will greatly reduce your risk. It is the same for vaccines.
The question. What is your opinion on working in an environment without masks, or are all employers claiming to be double-waxed?
It is not necessary. Someone had written me the previous day [about this]. This is a misconception here. This stuff is spread by air and the vaccine is great but it does not protect 100 percent. So what should we do? Forget about Plexiglas, do nothing. All you need to do is good ventilation – everyone is waxed, great – but additionally all you have to do is wear a mask, and it’s best if there is some distance between people … 1.5 (meters) or the like.
But the most important parts [being] Fully vaxxed, good ventilation and continue mask. Sorry, we have to [masking] A little more time.
Q. How much longer? So the government march …
That could be fine. See, if we don’t fall into the trap of a new mutation – the super mutated delta that completely avoids the immune system – then I believe March, April is really what we’re talking about here. Why? Because we have good weather again, good weather helps us tremendously.
I remember preaching for months, almost a year now: the outdoors is 20 times safer than indoors, maybe even more. So once again we go outdoors and enjoy ourselves on the beach, etc. With vaccines and third-dose technique, everything is fine anyway.
And the thing is, we need to make it there, and we need to get to the next level of this thing – leaving the epidemic stage, and for something that we no longer have big waves, just small waves.
And this means that people who are not vaccinated will be infected over time in ways that our ICUs don’t see [being] Was over.
The question. Should they go to the restaurant after January 17 if they pick up vaccine passports?
That’s what I did in Oxford, [England]. No one had vaccine certificates in there, and I wasn’t really safe.
I believe we really need to look at the numbers and what it looks like, but right now I don’t want to go to a restaurant that’s already indoors anyway. If there are no vaccine certificates, I don’t necessarily go.