COVID-19 recalls likely a reality for Albertans, although frequency is unclear – fr

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COVID-19 recalls likely a reality for Albertans, although frequency is unclear – fr


Infectious disease experts say Albertans should be aware that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 could become a common occurrence, although the timing of those extra doses is still unclear.

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Albertans 12 and older can now book vaccine appointments, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said last week that the interval between doses could be shortened as the vaccine supply was increasing, but don’t expect these to be the last vaccines you can protect against COVID-19.









Hinshaw says COVID-19 vaccination intervals are “very likely” to be less than 4 months

Hinshaw says COVID-19 vaccination intervals are “very likely” to be less than 4 months

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Dr Chris Mody, head of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Calgary, said much of it depends on the variants.

Strain B117 is now the dominant strain in Alberta and, as of Monday, variants account for at least 42 percent of active cases.

The province no longer tests every positive sample for a variant of concern, but instead targets screening populations at risk, making it difficult to get an accurate reading of the variant situation in Alberta.








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Mody said an emerging variant could mean a second generation vaccine is needed.

“We have to follow these variants very carefully, monitor them at the lab level – that people’s antibodies actually cover each variant as it emerges and, if there isn’t, move on to development quickly.” vaccines to cover these variants. , ” he said.

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However, Mody said it’s not clear whether the process will be annual, as is the case with the flu, or perhaps more or less frequent.

“In COVID-19, we need to be much more agile and be able to deliver these vaccines as soon as the variants appear that are not covered by the antibodies.

“It can happen a year, it can happen in three or five years, but it can also happen in six months,” he said.


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Mody said the viruses are resistant, but he hopes vaccine development will be able to keep pace with the new variants.

“We don’t know for sure that a variant could emerge that would be both more transmissible and also avoid the immunity generated by current vaccines,” he said.

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“The advantage we have is that we know that vaccines work so well that the development of a second generation vaccine, one would expect it to be even faster than the phenomenally rapid development of the first generation. vaccines. “

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Dr Ilan Schwartz, professor of infectious diseases at the University of Alberta, said Albertans are likely to need a “regular booster” with additional vaccines.

“It depends in part on what is going on elsewhere in the world – if we are in a situation where the virus has been contained and eliminated, we may not need such an urgent reminder,” he said. he declared.


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However, the vaccine rollout has been inconsistent around the world and Schwartz said this could lend itself to the possibility of new variants emerging.

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“In order to accommodate some of these mutations, some of these variants, we may need to make additional modifications to the vaccines,” he said.

“We may also need an additional vaccine, even without modifications, to strengthen the immune system. That we just don’t know yet. It’s going to be based on long-term follow-up. “

Schwartz said there would be pressure on the virus to mutate as more people get vaccinated, although he said viral transmission could still be quenched by pursuing measures such as distance and masking.

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However, he said there will likely always be a different hot spot somewhere in the world.

“It’s not like we’re going to look in the rearview mirror a year from now and say, ‘Remember the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020?’

“It will be an ongoing challenge, but I hope it will have a much less impact on our lives,” said Schwartz.

“I think it will probably take a long time to get back to normal, if that ever happens. “


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How likely is a universal vaccine to combat all variants? A doctor answers your questions about COVID-19


How likely is a universal vaccine to combat all variants? A doctor answers your questions about COVID-19
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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